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Werzirab 



The Book of Creation 

Revised Edition 



ARYEH KAPLAN 



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About the Translator 



Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan was a world-renowned Torah scholar who pro- 
duced over 50 boobs in his brief Lifetime, including Meditation and 
the Bible, Meditation and Kabbalah and VuBahir. Kaplan's works 
encompassed commentary and translation of ancient and obscure works 
by Bible scholars and Kabbah sts, and works advising young Jews on 
the merits of study and observance. For a while he was an editor of 
Jewish Life magazine, translated an enormous commentary on the 
Torah by the Sephardic rabbi, Yaakov Cuh\ and produced an original 
translation-commentary of the Five Books of Moses, which he called 
"The Living Torah/' published by Moznaim, Israel. 

Aryeh Kaplan was born in the Bronx, studied at local yeshivot h 
and continued his education at yeshivot in Israel. For a while he entered 
the field of science and was, for a brief period, the youngest physicist 
employed by the United States government before devoting his life to 
ToTah scholarship. He died at the age of 48 in 1983. 



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CONTENTS 



Pa^e 

ix 


INTRODUCTION 


in 

XV 


The Text 

Authorship 

The Talmudic Period 


xxi 


Texts and Commentaries 


3 

93 

137 

157 
195 
229 

257 


SEFER YET7IRAH 

Chapter One 
Chapter Two 
Chapter Three 
Chapter Four 
Chapter Five 
Chapter Six 

APPENDIXES 

Appendix I: Other Versions of Sefer Yet zi rah 


259 
269 
283 
295 


Short Version 

Long Version 

Saadia Version 

Appendix II: The 32 Path* of Wisdom 


301 


Appendix III; The Gaits 


317 


Appendix IV: Editions and Commentaries 


^19 
320 


Printed Editions 

Other Books Containing Sefer Yetzirah 


324 
32<> 

334 

3K9 


Manuscripts 

Commentaries 

Translations 

NCTTES 
INDEX 



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Introduction 

The Sefer Yeizirah is without question the oldest and most mysteri- 
ous of all kEibbalistic lexis. The firsi commentaries on this book were 
written in the lOlh century, and the text itself is Quoted as early as 
the sixth. References to the work appear in the first century, while 
traditions regarding its use attest to its existence even in Biblical 
times. So ancient is this book that its origins are no Longer accessible 
to historians. We are totally dependent on traditions with regard to 
its authorship. 

Equally mysterious is the meaning of this book. If the author 
meant to be obscure, he was eminently successful. It is only through 
the most careful analysis, studying every word with its parallels in 
Biblical and Talrnudic literature, that its haze of obscurity begins to 
be penetrated. 

There have been many interpretations of the Sefer Yetzirak- The 
earliest commentators tried to interpret it as a philosophical treatise, 
but their efforts shed more light on their own systems than on the 
text. The same is true of efforts to fit it into the systems of the Zohar 
or later Kabba lists. Efforts to view it as a book on grammar or pho- 
netics are even more unsuccessful. 

In general, the Kabbalah is divided into three categories, the the- 
oretical, the meditative, and the magical, 1 The theoretical Kabbalah, 
which in its present form is based largely on the Zohar. is concerned 
mostly with the dynamics of the spiritual domain, especially the 
worlds of the Sefirot, souls and angels. This branch of Kabbalah 
reached its zenith in the writings of the Safed school in the 1 6th cen- 
tury, and the vast majority of published texts belong in this 
category. 

Meditative Kabbalah deals with the use of divine names, letter 
permutations, and similar methods to reach higher stales of con- 
sciousness, and as such, comprises a kind of yoga. Most of the main 
texts have never been published, but remain scattered in manuscripts 
in the great libraries and museums. Some of these methods enjoyed 
a brief renaissance in the mid 1 700' s with the rise of the Hasidic 
movement, but within a half century they were once again largely 
forgotten. 



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ji SEFER YETZIRAH 

The third category of Kabbalah-the magical-is closely related to 
the meditative. It consists of various signs, incantations and divine 
names, through which one can influence or alter natural events. 
Many of the techniques closely resemble meditative methods, and 
their success may depend on their ability to induce mental states 
where telekinelic or spiritual power tEin effectively be channeled. As 
with the second category, the most important texts have never been 
printed, although some fragments have been published. One of the 
best examples of these is the book Raziel. 

Careful study indicates that Sefer Yetzirah is a meditative leou t 
with strong magical overtones. This position is supported by the ear- 
liest Talmudic traditions, which indicate that it could be used to cre- 
ate living creatures. Especially significant are the many reports and 
Legends in which the Sefer Yetzirah is used to create a Golem, a sort 
of mystical android. 

The methods of the Sefer Yetzirah appear to involve meditation; 
and it is highly possible that it was originally written as a meditative 
manual. A major 1 2th century philosopher thus states that it does 
not contain philosophy, but divine mystery, 2 This comes across very 
clearly in the commentary of one of the greatest Kabbalists. Isaac the 
Blind (1 160-1236), who stresses the meditative aspects of the text. 

It is also particularly evident in a very ancient manuscript of 
Sefer Yeizirah, dating from the 10th century or earlier The introduc- 
tory colophon states, "This is the book of the Letters of Abraham our 
father, which is called Sefer Yetzirah, and when one gazes (tzafah) 
into it, there is no limit to his wisdom/' As we snail discuss in our 
commentary (on 1:6), the Hebrew word tzafah does not denote mere 
physical gazing, but mystical meditative insight. This very early 
source would therefore support the position that Sefer Yetzirah was 
meant to be used as a meditative text. 

The commentaries which treat Sefer Yetzirah as a theoretical 
text, read much of it in the third person: "He combined/ "He 
formed/ and the like. According to this reading, the text is referring 
to God's creation. Jn many cases, however, the grammatical form 
more closely resembles the imperative,* The author is telling the 
reader to "combine" and "form" as if he was actually giving instruc- 
tions. In many other cases, the text is unambiguously instructive, as 
in such passages as, *if your heart runs, return to the place/ and, 
"understand with wisdom, and be wise with understanding/ Rather 
than have the text oscillate between the third person and the impera- 
tive, it would certainly be more logical to read it all in the imperative. 
The Sefer Yetzirah thus becomes an instruction manual for a very 
special type of meditation. Out of deference to the majority of com- 
mentaries we have refrained from translating it in the imperative, but 



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Introduction xi 

the implications of such a reading are discussed in the 
commentary. 

What we therefore have in Sefer Yetzirah appears to be an 
instructional manual, describing certain meditative exercises. There 
is some evidence that these exercises were meant to strengthen the 
initiate's concentration, and were particularly helpful in the develop- 
ment of telekinetic and telepathic powers. It was with these powers 
that one would then be able to perform feats that outwardly appeared 
to be magical. This is supported by the TaimudicaJ references, which 
appear to compare the use of Sefer Yetzirah to a kind of white magic. 1 
An important 13th century commentator writes that students of 
Sefer Yetzirah were given a manuscript of the book Raziel, a magical 
text containing seals, magical figures, divine names and incantations. 6 

The Text 

The Sefer Yetzirah is a very small and concise book. In its Short Ver- 
sion, it is only some 1 300 words long, while the Long Version contains 
approximately 2500 words. The Gra Version used in this translation 
contains around 1800 words. So short is the text, that one of the earliest 
fragments appears to have the entire book written on a single page, 7 
There is speculation that the original source may have contained as few 
as 240 words. 8 

The present text contains six chapters, and in some editions, these 
are said to parallel the six orders of the Mishnah,* Some ancient sources, 
however slate that the book contains five chapters, and it seems likely 
that the present fifth and sixth chapters were combined as one in these 
texts. [Q The earliest commentator, Saadia Gaon, in a somewhat different 
version, divides the book into eight chapters. 11 

The text is presented dogmatically, without substantiation or expla- 
nation. In the first chapter in particular, it is solemn and sonorous, read- 
ing Like blank verse poetry. Very few Biblical passages are quoted, and 
with the exception of Abraham, no name or authority is mentioned. 

The book seems to be divided into four basic parts. The first chap- 
ter introduces the; Sefirot, speaking of them at length. After this, how- 
ever, there is no mention whatsoever regarding the Sefirot in subsequent 
chapters. This had led to some speculation that the Sefer Yetzirah might 
actually be a combination of two (or more) earlier texts. 

The second chapter consists of a general discussion about the Idlers 
of the alphabet. It clearly appears to be introducing their use in a medi- 
tative context. Also introduced in this chapter are the five phonetic fam- 
ilies and the 231 Gates. Again, neither the phonetic families nor the 
Gates are ever again mentioned in the text. 



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lit SEFER VETZFRAH 

Chapters three to five discuss the three divisions of the letters, 
14 mothers, doubles, and elementals." These are related to the "universe, 
soul and year,"" presenting a fairly detailed astrological system. In these 
chapters, the entire thrust of the book is changed, and they contain vir- 
tually no hint whatsoever of its meditative aspects. 
This, however, can be explained by a principle found in many later 
KabbaJistic texts. In order to focus spiritual and mental powers, one 
must take into account the time and astrological environment. 1 * 

The sixth chapter again does not appear to have a clear connection 
to the earlier parts of the book, although in the Long Version, it is pre- 
sented almost as a commentary. Here, for the first time, are introduced 
the concepts of the "axis* cycle and heart," ideas which are not discussed 
any place else in Hebraic or KabbaJistic literature, with the exception 
of the Bahh\ JJ Of all the chapters, this one seems the most obscure, and 
it is difficult to decide if its emphasis is theoretical or meditative. 

This chapter concludes with a stanza linking the Sefer Yetzirah to 
Abraham. It is this quote that serves as a source to the tradition that 
the book was authored by the Patriarch, 



Authorship 



The earliest source to which Sefer Yetzirah is attributed is the Patriarch 
Abraham, As early as the 10th century, Saadia Gaon writes that, "the 
ancients say thai Abraham wrote it " ,J * This opinion is supported by 
almost all of the early commentator l5 Such ancient Kabhalistic texts 
as the Zohar and Razief also attribute Sefer Yetzirah to Abraham .'* A 
number of very old manuscripts of Sefer Yetzirah likewise begin with 
a colophon calling it "the Letters of Abraham our Father, which is called 
Sefer Yetzirah."' 1 

This does not mean, however, that the entire book as we have it 
now was written by Abraham. As Saadia Gaon explains, the principles 
expounded in Sefer Yetzirah were first taught by Abraham, but they 
were not actually assembled in book form until much later 18 Another 
authority notes that it could not have actually been written by Abraham, 
since if it had, it should have been incorporated into the Bible, or at 
least be mentioned in scripture," Similarly, when the 
Zohar speaks of books antedating the Torah, it does not include the 
Sefer Yetzirah among them. 20 

The attribution of Abraham is supported by the final stanza of 
Sefer Yetzirah: "When Abraham.., looked and probed... he was success- 
ful in creation. ..^ "This passage clearly suggests that Abraham actually 
made use of the methods found in this text, 



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introduction xiji 

In many editions of Sefer Yetzirah. scriptural evidence is provided 
by the verse, "Abraham went as God hyd told him, and Abraham took.,, 
the soul* that they had made in Haran" (Genesis 12:5). According to 
some commentaries, this indicates that Abraham actu- 
ally used the powers of Sefer Yetzirah to create people, 21 This would be 
the earliest example of the use of Sefer Yetzirah to create a Golem. 
According to ihis h Abraham would have learned how to use the myster- 
ies of Sefer Yetzirah before God told him to Leave Haran. 22 

Other authorities, however, say that "making souls" refers to coo- 
verting them to belief in the one true God, and this is also supported 
by the Zohar." Some commentaries attempt to reconcile this with the 
text of Sefer Yetzirah, explaining that with the miracles wrought 
through the Sefer Yetzirah, Abraham was able to convince people of 
the power of God h and thus convert them to true belief. 2 * 

The scripture states, "the souls that they made.** in the plural. This 
would indicate that Abraham was not alone in his use of Sefer Yetzirah, 
but had a companion. A Midrash states that if Abraham would have 
engaged in the secrets of creation by himself, he would have gone too 
far in emulating his Creator, and he therefore worked together with 
Shem, son of Noah. y Ancient sources identify Shem with Makhizedek, 
who blessed Abraham and taught him many of the earlier traditions* 7 * 

The most important mysteries of Sefer Yetzirah involve the inner 
significance of the letters of the Hebrew alphabet. Here loo. we find that 
Abraham was a master of these mysteries- A Midrash thus states that 
"the letters were given to none other than Abraham," 27 As we shall see 
in the commentary (on 1:3), the arrangement of the animals when Abra- 
ham made his covenant with God, also appears to be based on the mys- 
teries of Sefer Yetzirah. 

Further support Linking Abraham to the Sefer Yetzirah is found in 
the Taimudic teaching that "Abraham had a great astrology in his heart, 
and all the kings of the east and west arose early at his door. ,h?s Sefer 
Yetzirah is one of the primary ancient astrological texts, and it is possi- 
ble that it incorporates Abraham's astrological teachings. The tact that 
this astrology was said to be "in his heart" might also indicate that it 
involved various meditative techniques, as was indeed the case with 
ancient astrology, and is also suggested by Sefer Yetzirah. There is evi- 
dence that these mysteries were also taught to Abraham by Shem, along 
with the mystery of the calendar (Sod Halbbur)™ When God revealed 
himself to Abraham one of the first things that He taught him was not 
to be overdependent on astrological predictions. w 

Abraham was also fully aware of the magical and idolatrous uses 
that could be developed from these mysteries. The Talmud thus says 
that Abraham had a tract dealing with idolatry that consisted of 400 
chapters. 11 There is also a Taimudic teaching that Abraham taught 



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uv SEFER YETZIRAH 

the mysteries involving "unclean names" to the children of his concu- 
bines, 32 This is based on the verse, "to the sons of the concubines 
that Abraham had, Abraham gave gifts, and he sent them away.,, lo 
the lands of the east" (Genesis 25:6). These gifts consisted of occult 
mysteries, which then spread in eastern Asia. 

The attribution of the mysteries of Sefer Yetzirah to Abraham 
would place its origin in the 1 8th century before the common era. 
This is not very surprising, since such mystical texts as the Vedic 
scriptures date from this period, and there is every reason to believe 
that the mystical tradition was further advanced in the Middle East 
than it was in India at the time. Since Abraham was the greatest mys- 
tic and astrologer of his age, it is natural to assume that he was famil- 
iar with all the mysteries of ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. Abra- 
ham was born in Mesopotamia, and he also lived in Egypt, 

The next place where we find the use of Sefer Yetzirah is in a 
tradition regarding the older sons of Jacob, which states that they 
used it to create animals and maid servants" When the scripture 
states that "Joseph brought an evil report [regarding his brothers! to 
his father'* (Genesis 37:2), it is referring to this. Joseph's brothers had 
eaten an animal without slaughtering it properly, and Joseph did not 
know that the animal had been created through the Sefer Yetzirah 
and did not need such slaughter. He therefore reported that his broth- 
ers had eaten ** flesh from a living animal/* 

The mysteries of Sefer Yetzirah were used again after the Exo- 
dus, when the Israelites were building the Tabernacle in the desert. 
The Talmud states that Betzalel had been chosen to build this Taber- 
nacle because he "knew how to permute the letters with which heaven 
and earth were created .~ H Such esoteric knowledge was required, 
since the Tabernacle was meant to be a microcosm, paralleling both 
the universe, the spiritual domain, and the human body.* 5 It was not 
enough merely to construct a physical building. As it was built, the 
architect had to meditate on the meaning of each part, imbuing it 
with the necessary spiritual properties. 

The Talmud derives this from the verse where God says, **I have 
called in the name of Betzalel,. and 1 have filled him with the spirit 
of God t with wisdom, understanding, and knowledge" {Exodus 
31:2-3), "Wisdom, Understanding and Knowledge" {Chakhmah, 
Binah and Daat) refer to states of consciousness, which we shall dis- 
cuss at length. It is through the manipulation of the Letters that such 
states of consciousness can be attained. 

The sources are silent about the Sefer Yetzirah then until the 
lime of Jeremiah the prophet. Here again we find a tradition that 
Jeremiah wished to make use of Sefer Yetzirah, but as in the case of 
Abraham, was admonished not to attempt to do so alone. He there 



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ttttrfHitiflttm XV 

fore took his son, Ben Sirah t and the two explored these mysteries 
together. 36 Through their efforts, they were able to create a Golem, 
bat they did not preserve iL 

There might have been more than one person with the name Ben 
Siraht but the one in this tradition was dearly the son of Jeremiah. 
Regarding his birth, there is a fascinating tradition. Jeremiah had 
been accosted by homosexuals in the bathhouse, and as a result, had 
experienced an ejaculation in the tub- His semen remained viable, 
and when his daughter later used the same tub, she was impregnated 
by it T eventually giving birth to Ben Sirah. JT Ben Sirah was therefore 
the son of both Jeremiah and the latter's daughter. 

Some sources say that his name was originally Ben Zera (Son of 
SecdJ T but when this name proved embarrassing, he changed it to Ben 
Sirah, ™ Because of the sensitive nature of his birth, he did not call 
himself "son of Jeremiah." There is an allusion, however, since Sirah 
(mt&) and Jeremiah (lrrnrr) both have a numerical value of 271. Later 
authorities were to bring proof from this incident that artificial 
insemination does not constitute adultery or incest." 

These traditions are of particular interest, since there are many 
hints that Jeremiah taught these mysteries to a certain Yosef t son of 
Uziel, son of Ben Sirah. 4 * There is also at least one source that states 
that Ben Sirah actually taught the Scfer Yetzirah to Yosef ben UzieJ.<" 
What is even more interesting is the fact that there are hints that this 
very same Yosef ben Uziel may have written a commentary on Sefer 
Yetzirah, or even possibly one of the earliest versions of the text 
itself" 2 

This is important because it would date the first version of Sefer 
Yetzirah to the early years of the Second Temple. This was also the 
lime of the Great Assembly, who put some of the last books of the 
Bible, such as Ezekiel, into writing, and then closed the Biblical Can- 
non .** Much of the regular Hebrew prayer service was also composed 
by this Assembly 44 Like these prayers, the Sefer Yetzirah was not put 
into writing, but was taught from memory. 

The Talmudic Period 

Upon entering the Talmudic period, we make a transition from tradi- 
tion to history. We find actual mention of Sefer Yetzirah in the Tal- 
mud, and even though it is not absolutely certain that it is identical 
with our version, there is no real reason to doubt that they are one 
and the same. In Talmudical times, the Sefer Yeuirah began as an 
oral teaching, and was eventually incorporated as a book, which was 
used by the sages. 



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Ktf SEFER VETZIRAH 

The first reference to such use involves Rabbi Yehoshua [ben 
Chananya], a leading sage of the first century. He is credited with the 
statement, "I can take squashes and pumpkins, and with the Sefer 
Yetzirah, make them into beautiful trees. These will in turn produce 
other beautiful trees*" 4 * Although the phrase, "with the Sefer 
Yetzirah," does not occur in printed editions of the Jerusalem Tal- 
mud, it is found in manuscripts. 

This reference to Rabbi Yehoshua is highly significant. Rabbi 
Yehoshua was one of the five main disciples of Rabbi Yochanan ben 
Zakkai (47 bce-73 re), leader of all Jewry after the destruction of the 
Temple, and a renowned expert in all occult arts. 44 It was Rabbi 
Yehoshua who was Rabbi Yochanan 1 * main disciple in the mysteries 
of the Markava (Chariot), and he Later gained fame as the greatest 
expert of his time in the occult. 47 

This also sheds light on another important mystical personality. 
According to one ancient source, Rabbi Yehoshua also received the 
tradition from Rabbi Nehunia ben HaKanah, Leader of the school 
that produced the Bahir. In Sefer HaTagin^ we find that the tradition 
regarding the mystical significance of the crowns (tagin) on Hebrew 
letters was handed down in the following manner "Menachem gave 
it over to Rabbi Nehunia ben HaKanah, Rabbi Nehunia ben 
HaKanah gave it over to Rabbi Elazar ben Arakh T Rabbi Elazar ben 
Arakh gave it over to Rabbi Yehoshua, acid Rabbi Yehoshua gave it 
over to Rabbi Akiba*™* 1 

Rabbi Elazar ben Arakh is best known as the greatest disciple of 
Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai.** It is also known that he Learned the 
Markava mysteries from Rabbi Yochanan. J|J From the above tradi- 
tion, we also see that he learned from Rabbi Nehunia, possibly after 
he left Rabbi Yochanan, The Talmud reports that at this point, Rabbi 
Elazar went to Live by the river Dismas, in the town of Emmaus." 
Emmaus, however, is also known to be the place of Rabbi Nehunia, 
as well as a general seat oTKabbalistic teaching/ 2 It is quite possible 
that Rabbi Elazar became so involved in mysticism, that, as the Tal- 
mud reports, he lost his grasp of Legalistic theory. 

Also significant is the fact that Rabbi Nehunia is said to have 
received the tradition from Menachem, It is known that Rabbi 
Nehunia was the Leading mystic of the first century, as well as a col- 
League of Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai.* 3 There are, however, no 
records as to whom his masters were. From the Sefer MaTagin we 
Learn that Rabbi Nehunia learned at least some of l he mysteries from 
Menachem, who served as vice president of the Sanhedrin {Supreme 
Court) under HiLLel. It was when Menachem resigned his post that 
Shammai was appointed in his stead, 34 



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Infroduclivu xvii 

Most authorities identify this individual with Menachem the 
Esscne. discussed by Josephus. 1 ' Menachem had once seen Herod as 
a child, and had prophesied that he would be king. Because of this, 
when Herod later ascended the throne, he honored Menachem as well 
as the other Essenes. Due to his relationship with Herod, Menachem 
could no Longer maintain his position in the Sanhedriu, 

If we accept the above tradition, Nehunia ben HaKnnah might 
have received at least some of his mystic knowledge from Menachem 
the Essene, This would indicate that the Essenes were conversant in 
the mystical arts, and that they taught them to at least some of the 
Talmudic masters. Josephus states that the Essenes made use of the 
names of angels, and were able to fortell the future, using various 
purifications and methods of the prophets. M Even more significant, 
Josephus also Likens the Essenes to the Pythagoreans.*' Since the 
Sefer Yetzirah apparently contains some elements that resemble the 
teachings of the Pythagoreans, it may be that the text was preserved 
by the F.sscncs during the pmod that preceded the Talmud. 

Rabbi Elazar taught ihc tradition regarding the crowns on letters 
to Rabbi Yehoshua, who in turn gave it over to Rabbi Akiba (12-132 
ce)> Rabbi Akiba excelled in this area, and the Talmud reports that 
he could derive many important teachings from these crowns,* 8 He 
also received the Markava tradition from Rabbi Yehoshua, as well 
as other important occult lore,** There is no question that in his time, 
Rabbi Akiba was considered the greatest of all experts in the mystical 
realm. 60 Rabbi Shimeon bar Yochai T author of the Zohar, was also a 
disciple of Rabbi Akiba. 

It is therefore not surprising that a number of sources attribute 
the authorship of Sefer Yeizirah to Rabbi Akiba* 1 Most of the early 
Talmudical texts originated with Rabbi Akiba, who transmitted them 
orally in a well defined form « Although these books were not written 
down, they had been worded by Rabbi Akiba. and it was his wording 
that was taught orally. 

At that time, there was a rule that the oral tradition be reviewed 
exactly, word for word, precisely as they had been given over, the 
rule was, "One should always reveiw the precise wording of his mas- 
ter.** 61 Each master would therefore provide a program of study, 
which his disciples would memorize word for word. In the legalistic 
field, this was known as the "First Mishnah,"** It is possible that 
Rabbi Akiba also produced an oral text of Sefer Yetzirah for his stu- 
dents of mystical Lore to memorize. Besides this, personal notes may 
also have been kept. 

In this respect, the Sefer Yetzirah would have been no different 
from the rest of the oral tradition. Although it was meant to be trans- 



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nviii SEFER YETZIRAH 

mitted by word of mouth, and was not actually published, personal 
records and manuscripts were kept," This was especially true of 
important teachings that were not usually reviewed in the academies, 
as well as esoteric tents.** Similarly, the heads of the academies would 
keep written notes in order to accurately preserve the traditions. 67 

Although these notes were never published, they were carefully 
preserved in the academies. Subsequent teachers often added mar- 
ginal notes to these manuscripts, and such notes were even occasion- 
ally found in the Biblical scrolls which they used.** Since these notes 
were preserved by private individuals and never distributed 
publically, they were collectively known as "hidden scrolls" {MegiUat 
Setarim)^ Not only such esoteric material as Sefer Yetzirah was 
included in this category, but even such Legalistic material as the 
Mishnah, which was meant to be transmitted orally. 

This might help explain why the Sefer Yetzirah exists in so many 
versions. Unlike the Mishnah, which was eventually published in a 
well defined edition, the Sefer Yetzirah never developed beyond the 
slate of being a "hidden scroll," Different versions may have been 
taught by various teachers, and, since the text was never openly pub- 
lished, there was no way in which these versions could be compared 
and corrected. Furthermore, many marginal notes may have been 
incorporated into the text, also producing different versions. All this 
may provide an explanation for the fact that there is no Hebrew clas- 
sic that is found with so many versions and variants as the Sefer 
Yetzirah, 

It seems highly probable that the Sefer Yetzirah was already in 
its present form when the Mishnah was redacted in the year 204 ce. 
The Mishnah was edited by Rabbi Yehuda h the Prince {135-220 rt> N 
usually referred to simply as ^Rebbi." Jt is indeed possible that there 
is a reference to Sefer Yetzirah in the Mishnah itself. In one of the 
few places where it discusses esoteric lore, the Mishnah stales, **The 
mysteries of creation (Maaseh Bereshit) may not be expounded in the 
presence of two disciples, and the mysteries of the Markava (Maaseh 
Markava) may noi be expounded even in the presence of one, unless 
he is wise, understanding with his knowledge.* 170 

The term Maaseh Merkava refers to the meditative methods used 
to ascend to the higher spiritual realms. 1 ' Although such later philoso- 
phers as Maimonides claimed that this involved philosophical specula- 
tion, the most ancient sources clearly state that Maaseh Markava dealt 
with the meditative methods used for spiritual ascent. 7 ' As such, it was 
considered the most esoteric of all spiritual exercises. 

According to many authorities, Maaseh Bereshit refers to the 
mysteries of Sefer Yetzirah." Since we know that Maaseh Markava 
was of mystical nature, it would be Logical to assume that the same 
was true of Maaseh Bereshit. Furthermore, the assumption that 



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fwrwtuciion nil 

Maaseh Bereshti involves Sefer Yetzirah also clarifies a number of 
otherwise obscure Talmudical references. There is also evidence that 
Rebbi was familiar with the mysteries of the Markava, and it is logi- 
cal to assume that he was also aware of Sefer Yetzirah.* 1 

A generation later, we thus find an account of two of Rebbi* s 
disciples clearly involved in the mysteries of Sefer Y em rah The Tal- 
mud relates. "Rabbi Hanina and Rabbi Hoshia would engage them- 
selves in Sefer Yetzirah every [Friday] before the Sabbath, would cre- 
ate for themselves a prime 7 * calf T and would eat it.* 5 '* Another version 
of this account states that they engaged in Hilkhot Yetzirah (Rules of 
Creation), rather than Sefer Yetzirah. 77 The term HilkhoU however, 
can apply to philosophical rules as well as legal ones." In some of (he 
most ancient manuscripts, Sefer Yetzirah is actual Jy titled Hilkhot 
Yetzirah™ 

There are many interpretations as to exactly what these two sages 
accomplished in creating such a calf, and why they did it. Some say 
that they did not actually create a physical calf, but created such a 
clear meditative image that the spiritual satisfaction was the same as 
eating.* Even such a Kabbalist as Abraham Abulafia (1240-1296) 
maintains that their creation was mystical rather than physical. 11 The 
Rashba (Rabbi Shlorno ben Aderet; 1235-1310) saw particular signi- 
ficance in the fact that they would engage in this on Friday, the day 
in which mammals were originally created.* 2 This entire question will 
be discussed further in our commentary. 

Evidently, Rebbi also taught these mysteries to his disciple Rav 
(Abba Arikhta), who in turn taught them to Rav Yehudah (220-299 
n), founder and first master of the Babylonian academy in 
Pumpadita, This Rav Yehudah T together with Rav Aina, were called 
the "elders of Pumpadita."* 3 The Talmud relates that the "elders of 
Pumpadita were versed (tanu) in Maaseh Bereshit^ From the use 
of the word tanu here, it is evident that Mameh Bereshit already 
existed in a definite form, most probably as a written book t ,J This 
would suggest that Sefer Yetzirah had already been put in writing. 

There is also other evidence that Rav Yehudah learned the mys- 
teries of Sefer Yetzirah from Rav. The teaching, w BetzaLel knew how 
to permute the letters with which heaven and earth were created,'* is 
attributed to "Rav Yehudah in the name of Rav,"" Also attributed 
to him is the statement that God told Abraham to "go out of your 
astrology."*' This indicates that he had some evidence that Abraham 
was versed in astrology, a position clearly Found in Sefer Yetzirah. 
There is also evidence that Rav Yehudah teamed the mysteries of the 
42 letter Name from Rav. 8 * 

As an initiate into the mysteries of Sefer Yetzirah Rav Yehudah 
would also have a deep understanding of the mystical significance of 
the Hebrew language. We thus find that he emphasized the use of the 



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in SEFEK YETZIRAH 

Hebrew language, even in his daily conversation. 5 ' Rav Yehudah also 
maintained that prayer should be voiced in Hebrew, and not in the 
Aramaic vernacular™ 

The Talmud relates that Rav Yosef knew the mysteries of the 
Markava, while the "elders of Puxnpadita" were versed in the myster- 
ies of creation. Rav Yosef got the elders to teach him the mysteries 
of creation, but would not entrust them with the Markava mysteries 
in return, 51 

This indicates that the mysteries of the Markava and those of 
Sefer Yetzirah were taught by different schools, and that members of 
one school did not know the teachings of the other. The two involved 
different disciplines, and care was taken to keep them separate. This 
also answers the question as to why the Sefer Yetzirah is never men- 
tioned in the Hekhatou the classic of Markava literature. 92 The 
Markava literature developed in a school that might have not had 
access to Sefer Yetzirah, even though certain of its members were 
definitely versed in it. In the same context, Sefer Yetzirah is men- 
tioned but a very few times in the Zohar, and then, not in the main 
text," 

In that period, there were some sages who eschewed these mys- 
teries completely. Such an individual was Rabbi Elazar ben Padat, 
who headed the academy in Tiberius after the death of Rabbi 
Yochanan in the year 279 ce. When Rabbi Yochanan had offered to 
teach him the Markava mysteries, he deferred on the grounds that he 
was too young r After Rabbi Yochanarfs death, when Rabbi Assi 
wished to impart these mysteries to him, he again deferred, saying, 
"If I would have been worthy, I would have learned them from Rabbi 
Yochanan your master^* 

Instead, Rabbi Elazar adopted a position somewhat opposed to 
the esoteric schools, accepting the viewpoint of Rabbi Yosi ben 
Zimra. Denying that the Sefer Yetzirah could be used to actually cre- 
ate life, he said in the name of Rabbi Yosi, "If all the people in the 
world came together, they could not create a gnat and imbue it with 
a soul."" It was not that Rabbi Elazar doubled that such powers 
existed. Rather, he felt that they were no longer known. These pow- 
ers, however, did exist in the Torah, Rabbi Elazar thus said h ^The 
paragraphs of the Torah are not in order. If they were in [correct] 
order, anyone who read them would be able to [create a world,] resur- 
rect the dead, and perform miracles."** 

A generation later, we find two important sages actively engaged 
in the mysteries of Sefer Yetzirah. The first was Rava (299-353 ce), 
founder and First master of the Babylonian academy in Mechuza, 
who is credited with saying, ^ If the righteous desired, they could cre- 
ate a world "" His partner was Rav Zeira, who was known as the 



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tntrnducfion mi 

"saint of Babylon,* 9 * So great were Rav Zeira's meditative powers 
that he was able to place his feel in fire without burning them. He 
would test himself each month to see if this power was unabated. On 
one occasion, the other sages distracted him, and he failed, where- 
upon he was called* "The little man with the burned feet."** 

An ancient tradition states that Rava and Rav Zeira worked 
together for three years, meditating on the Sefer Yetzirah, When they 
finally mastered it, they created a calf and slaughtered it, serving it 
at a feast celebrating their accomplishment. They then lost their pow- 
ers and had to work for another three years to restore them. 100 

The Talmud relates that "Rava created a man" and sent him to 
Rav Zeira. When the latter saw that this android would not answer 
his questions, he realized that it was a Golem, and told it to "return 
to the dust." 1 * 1 The Bahir remarks that the Golem could not speak 
because Rava was not completely free from the taint of sin, and as 
long as man sins, he cannot partake of the powers of the Creator 102 
Only God can make a man who can speak. This is the first mention 
of the creation of a Golem in Hebraic literature, but in the middle 
ages, several other instances are reported J nj 

Even the expression, "Rava created a man," has mystical conno- 
tations. In the original, it is RaBhA BaRA GaBhRA (tnu ana tai), 
and + as an early Kabbalist notes, the second word is nothing other 
than the reverse of the first, LW The third word adds a Gimmel, the 
third letter of the alphabet, to the word before it. This yields a phrase 
consisting often letters, with a numerical value of 61 2, one less than 
613, the number of bones and blood vessels in the human body, 105 
The man created by Rava was thus something less than human. In 
many ways, this expression is reminiscent of the word Abracadabra 
{ABRA K'ADaBRA^tm-»i3 trvk), which literally means, "I will create 
as I speak. " iW 

During the Talmudic period, there were many sages who engaged 
in these mysteries, 10 - With the close of this era, however, a blanket 
of silence was cast over all occult activities. It appears that a number 
of mystical books were written during the subsequent Gaonic period, 
but their origins are shrouded in mystery. Still, knowledge of these 
practices clearly existed as late as the ltith century, and Hai Gaon 
(939-1038) speaks of people engaged in the mystical permutation 
{tzerufi of letters 10 * 

Texts and Commentaries 

It is not until the post-Talmudic period that we find actual quotations 
from the Sefcr Yetzirah, One of the earliest such references is in a 



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XXII 



SEFER VETZ1RAH 



Table I Historical opinions as to when Sefer Yeizirah was written. 



Before 1 00 bce Lazarus Goldsmidt , Das Buck der Schdpfung, 

Frankfurt, 1894, p. 12. 

Israel Weinslock, Temirin /, Jerusalem, 1972, 
p. 21. (for earliesi parts). 

100 Bct-100 r* Adolphe Franck, Die Kabbalah, Leipzig, 

1844. p. 65, 
Israel Wei n stock, locxit (for second layer). 

1-100 ce Adolph Jellinek, Introduction to Die 

Kabbalah, pp.6-9. 

Yohann Friedrich von Meyer, Das Buch 
Yezirah, Leipzig, 1839, p. v. 
Heinrich Graetz, Gnosticismus, Kxotoschin, 
1846, pp. 102-103. 

100-200 ce Isadore Kalish T Sefer Yetiimh, New York, 

1877, p r 1 

David Castelli* Commenti di Donolo, 
Firenze, 1880, p. 14. 
Abraham Epstein. Beitrage zur Judischen 
Alter thumskimde, Vienna, 1887, 1:46 49. 
Idem., Rescherche sur ie Sefer Yecira, Revue 
des Edut es Juices 29:75-76 (1894), 
Gershom Scholem, Ursprung und Anjange, 
Berlin, 1962, pp. 21, 25 (note 45). 
Avraham Meir Haberrnann, Sinai 10:141 
(1947). 

20CMO0 ce Louis Ginzberg, Jewish Encyhpedia, New 

York, 1904, 12:605. 

Gershom Scholem, Encyclopedia Judaica 1 
Berlin, 1932, 9:109, 

400-600 cf Leo Baeck. Aus drei Jahrtausende, Berlin, 

1938, p. 382. 

600-800 ce Hermann L. Strack, Einleitung in Talmud 

und Midras, Munich, 1921, p. 22 L 
Sh. Morg, Sheva Kefaloi. BGD KRFT. Sefer 
Tur Sinai, Jerusalem, 1960, pp, 233-236, 
Nehemia Aloni, Hisrorische Grammatik, 
Hali, 1922, p. 92. 
Idem^ Temirim /, p. 96, 



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Infroducuorr 

Table I Historical opinions as to when Sefer Yftzirah was written 
(coniinued) 



sno-900 ce 



Leopold Zunz, Die Goltensdientichen 

Vortrage der Juden, Berlin, 1892, p, 175. 

Mortiz Stcinschneider, Judische Literatur, 

p, 40L 

Heinrich Graetz, Geschechte der Juden 

(1875) 5:297. 

Ph. Bloch, Mystik und Kabbalah, Trier, 

1896, p. 244. 

Israel Weinstock, lac cit. (for latest 

additions). 



poem written by Rabbi Elazar Kalir, who lived in the fifth or sixth 
century, and perhaps even earlier He writes: 109 

Then, from eternity, with Ten Sayings You gouged 

With Scribe, script and scroll-Ten, 

You finished them in six directions. 
Ten words. 

There are also allusions to the teachings of Sefer Yetzirah in 
Bereita deShmuel HaKatan, which, according to internal evidence, 
was written in or around 776 ce."° There is also a mention of the 
"Ten Sefirot of Nothingness" in a late Midrash, which could have 
been redacted around this time. JIL 

The absence of any unambiguous references to Sefer Yetzirah in 
earlier literature has led some historians to speculate whether or not 
the Talmudic citations are referring to our lent. Some maintain that 
our version was written much later than the Talmud, A list of such 
estimates in given in Table 1 . 

The most careful analysis however, reveals a number of strata in 
the text. The earliest pans of the book appear very ancient, possibly 
antedating the Talmudic era. lJ2 A considerable amount of the text 
appeais to have been added later on, possibly as a glossary or commen- 
tary. As some of the earliest commentators on Sefer Yetzirah note, com- 
mentaries and marginal notes were occasionally incorporated into the 
text." J In the I Oth century, Rabbi Yaakov ben Nissmi writes, "People 
write Hebrew comments on the book, and other foolish people come 
later and comment on the commentary. Between them, truth is lost." ' H 
This is not surprising, since in Talmudic times, such marginal notes 
were even common in Biblical scrolls, although enough was known of 
their text, that the comments were not incorporated into it. 

Several strata are evident in Sefer Yetzirah, some apparently 
added in the Late Talmudic period, and others in the Gaonic era. 



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xkjv 5i£FER YETZIFUH 

Thus, critical estimates as to its age would depend on which parts 
were studied. 

The earliest commentaries on Sefer Yetzirah were written in the 
10ih century. The first was written in 931 by Saadia Gaon, one of 
the most important religious leaders and philosophers of his time. 
The second, Chakumorti, was written by Rabbi Shabbatai Donnelo 
in 946 T while the third was written by Donash ibn Tamim a decade 
later 113 All of these are philosophical, Talher than mystical, in 
content. 

Most significant is the fact that each of these commentaries was 
written on a different version of Sefer Yetzirah, The commentary by 
Donash was written on what is now generally referred to as the Short 
Version. With minor variations, it was this version that was printed 
in 1562 in the Mantua edition, and it is dominant in all subsequent 
printed editions. 

The commentary of Shabbatiai Donnelo was written on what is 
now referred to as the Long Version, Many printed editions included 
this Long Version as a sort of appendix. A complete manuscript, dat- 
ing from the 10th century, also exists of this version. Although there 
are important differences in the assignment of values to letters and 
planets, the Long Version is very much like the Short Version with 
an additional commentary. This is particularly evident in the sixth 
chapter where we find a commentary on the first stanza of the book. 
Also significant are some recaps {4; 14, 5:20), which are actually revi- 
sions of the previous text. The existence of both a Short and Long 
Version was noted as early as the 13th century by Abraham 
Abulafia."* 

The third version is that of Saadia Gaon, which is also found in 
some early Geniza fragments. This is very much like the Long Ver- 
sion, except that the stanzas are in completely different order This 
variant, usually called the Saadia Version, has been virtually ignored 
by the Kabbalists, even though it was apparently used by Rabbi 
Yehudah HaLevi in his Kuzari. 

As early as the 1 0th century, Saadia Gaon remarked about the 
many variants of Sefer Yetzirah n saying, "It is not a common book, 
and many people have been careless in changing or transposing the 
text." 117 A centur> r later, Rabbi Yehudah Barceloni Likewise notes 
that, "there are many versions, some very confused." 11 * In 1562, the 
printers of the first Mantua edition remarked how they had to sift 
through many manuscripts to find a dependable text. 

If all the variants found in manuscripts are counted, there are 
literally dozens of different variants in the text of Sefer Yetzirah. No 
other Judaic text exists in so many versions. Some of these might 



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hUrxidiH-Uim JtXY 

have come from different schools, who, because these teachings were 
secret, did riot communicate with each other. Different marginal 
notes and commentaries also apparently became incorporated into 
the text, producing different variants. Furthermore, if the text was 
preserved orally for a long time, variants in its ordering may have 
alsa developed. 

Besides this, there is another possibility, suggested by the fact 
that, in essence, the Kabbalists rejected all the above mentioned ver- 
sions. It is known that during the Gaonic period (6th- 1 Oth centuries), 
the Kabbah sts restricted their teachings to very small secret societies. 
Great stress was placed on maintaining secrecy so that their teachings 
should not fall into improper hands. Since Sefer Yetzirah is such a 
small book, it presented the greatest danger. The leaders of these 
schools may have deliberately released spurious versions, so as to 
confuse those who would be lempted 10 penetrate their mysteries. 
With several versions in circulation, the uninitiated would not know 
which to choose. 

It was the Kabbalists themselves who preserved the conect text, 
initially concealing it from outsiders. Around 1550, Rabbi Moshe 
Cordevero, leader of the Safed school and the greatest Kabbatist of 
the day, sifted through the ten best manuscripts available, choosing 
the one most closely fitting the tradition of the Kabbalists. 11 * A gene- 
ration later, the text was further refined by the Ari (Rabbi Yitzchak 
Luna), one of the greatest Kabbalists of all time. This text, known as 
the Ari Version, was published a number of times, usually as part of 
some other collection. It resembles the Short Version in many ways, 
but there are some very significant differences in assignment. In gen- 
eral, the Ari Version is the only one which is in agreement with ihe 
Zohar. 

A number of variations were found even in this version, and a 
final edited text was finally produced by The Gra (Rabbi Eliahu. Gaon 
of Vilna) in the 18th century, 1 -* This is known as the Gra-Ari Ver- 
sion, or simply, as the da Version. 

Thus, there are four important versions of Sefer Yetzirah. They 
are: 

1) The Short Version 

2) The Long Version 

3) The Saadia Version 

4) The Gra Version. 

Since the Gra Version was considered the most authentic by the 
Kabbalists, this is the one that we have chosen for the initial transla- 



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wvi SEFER VETZIJUH 

tion and commentary. The other three versions are presented in 
Appendix I. 

Over eighty commentaries have been written on Sefer Yetzirah. 
Some T especially the earliest were primarily philosophical. With the 
emergence of Kabbalah as a public teaching, a number of Kabhalistic 
and mystical commentaries were akn written. When the Bahir and 
the Zohar were published, commentators worked to fit the Sefer 
Yeizirah into the system of these texts. The same was true of the 
teachings of the Ari, which dominates the later commentaries. A his- 
tory of the commentaries on Sefer Yettirah reads very much like a 
history of the Kabbalah in general. A list of the major commentaries 
is found in the Bibliography. 

Our commentary on Sefer Yetzirah takes into account most of 
these, as well as our other research into the methods of the 
KahbalislSt much of which has been published in my Meditation and 
Kabbalah. While the various theoretical approaches art important, I 
have focused primarily on the mystical techniques outlined in Sefer 
Yetzirah, as well as the meditative methods that they imply. 

3 Kisfev, 5737 



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Sefec 




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CHAPTER ONE 



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Chapter One 



1:1 



nosn nwSs niTru D*n*n o*tt6w3 

pip WP31 D"i [Km oftm np Ss 07131 Y^ °" n 

:T15P1 *1901 TJ)M DHBD HPWa 



WiYA 32 mystical paths of Wisdom 
engraved Yah 

the Lord of Hosts 

the God of Israel 
the living God 

King of the universe 
Ei Shaddai 

Merciful and Gracious 

High and Exalted 

Dwelling in eternity 

Whose name is Holy — 
He is lofty and holy — 
And He created His universe 
with three books (Sepharim), 

with text (Sepher) 

with number (Sephar) 

and with communication (Sippur). 



With 32 

As the next stanza will explain, these 32 paths are manifest as 
the 10 digits and the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet. The 10 digits 
are also manifest in the Ten Seftrot, which are the most basic con- 
cepts of existence. 

The letters and digits are the basis of the most basic ingredients 
of creation, quality and quantity. 1 The qualities of any given thing 
can be described by words formed out of the Letters, while all of its 
associated quantities can be expressed by numbers. 

Numbers, however, cannot be defined until there exists some 
element of plurality in creation. The Creator Himself is absolutely 



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* 


SEFER YETZIRAH 




Table 


2. The 32 Paths in Genesis 1. 






1. 


In the begin ning God created 


Keter 


Sefirah I 


2. 


The spirit of God hovered 


Heh 


Elemental L 


3, 


God said, let there be light 


Chakhmah 


Sefirah 2 


4 r 


God saw the light thai it was 
good 


Bet 


Double L 


5. 


God divided between the 
Light and darkness 


Vav 


Elemental 2 


6. 


God called the light day 


Zayin 


Elemental 3 


7. 


God said, let there be a 
firmament 


Binah 


Sefirah 3 


8. 


God made the firmament 


Alef 


Mother I 


9. 


God called the firmament 
heaven 


Chet 


Elemental 4 


10. 


God said, let the waters be 


Chesed 


Sefirah 4 




gathered 






11. 


God called the dry land earth 


Tet 


Elemental 5 


12, 


God saw that it was good 


Girnel 


Double 2 


13. 


God said, let the earth be 
vegetated 


Gevurah 


Sefirah 5 


14, 


God saw that it was good 


Dalet 


Double 3 


15. 


God said, let there be 
luminaries 


Tiferet 


Sefirah 6 


16. 


God made two luminaries 


Mem 


Mother 2 


17 T 


God placed them in the 
firmament 


Yud 


Elemental 6 


IS. 


God saw that it was good 


Kaf 


Double 4 


19 + 


God said, let the waters swarm 


Netzach 


Sefirah 7 


20. 


God created great whales 


Lamed 


Elemental 7 


21. 


God saw that it was good 


Peh 


Double 5 


22. 


God blessed them, be fruitful 
and multiply 


Nun 


Elemental 8 


23. 


God said, let the earth bring 
forth animals 


Hod 


Sefirah 8 


24. 


God made the beasts of the 
field 


Shin 


Mother 3 


25. 


God saw that it was good 


Resh 


Double 6 


26. 


God said* Let us make man 


Yesod 


Sefirah 9 


27. 


God created man 


Samekh 


Elemental 9 



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Chapter One 

Table 2. The 32 Paths in Genesis I (coniinucd) ' 



28, 


In the form of God He cre- 
ated him 


Eyin 


Elemental 10 


29. 


God blessed them 


Tzadi 


Elemental 1 1 


30. 


God said, be fruitful and 
multiply 


Malkhut 


Sefirah 10 


31. 


God said, behold I have 
given you 


Kuf 


Elemental 12 


32. 


God saw all that He had made 


Tav 


Double 7 



simple, containing no plurality whatsoever. He is the most absolute 
unity imaginable. Therefore, plurality only came into existence with 
the advent of creation. Only then could numbers be defined. 

The first elements of plurality in creation involved the Ten 
Scfiroi. Hence, it was the Scfiroi that defined the numbers, and there- 
fore, the concept of quantity in general. 

Most of Sefer Yctzirah will deal with these 32 paths, as they are 
manifest in the letters and numbers. The 32 paths, themselves, how- 
ever, will not be mentioned again. The early Kabbalists. define these 
32 paths as different states of consciousness, A list of these is given 
in Appendix II. 

According to the Kabbalists, these 32 paths are alluded to in the 
Torah by the 32 times mat God's name Elohim appears in the account 
of creation in the first chapter of Genesis. 1 In this account, the expres- 
sion u God said" appears ten times, and these are the Ten Sayings with 
which the world was created. J These Ten Sayings parallel the Ten 
Sefirot/ The fiist saying is said to be the verse, "In the beginning God 
created the Heaven and the Earth" (Genesis 1:1). Even though **God 
said" does not appear here, it is implied and understood.- 

The other 22 times thai God's name appears in this account then 
parallel the 22 letters of the alphabet. The three times in which the 
expression "God made" appears parallel the three Mothers. The 
seven repetitions or -God saw* parallel the seven Doubles. The 
remaining twelve names parallel the twelve Elemental^. See Table 2. 

In general, none of the names of God refer to the Creator Him- 
self. The Creator is only referred to as Ain Sof. which means the Infi- 
nite Being, or simply, the Infinite. The names used in scripture and 
elsewhere merely refer to the various ways through which God mani- 
fests Himself in creation. 

The name Elohim, which is used throughout the first chapter of 
Genesis, refers to the manifestation of delineation and definition. 
Each of the 32 paths therefore served to delineate and define a panic- 



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Table : 


t. The Hebrew alphabet. 


















Signification 


Num- 






Represented 


Hebrew 


Sounded 


of the 


erical 


Final 


Form 


by 


name 


as 


names 


value 




it 


Silent 


■lf?« 


A '-teph 


Gx 


1 




a 


b, bh 


j^a 


Beth 


House 


2 




j 


&6h 


Sm 


Gim&l 


Camel 


3 




n 


d, dh 


rh-i 


Da'-l&h 


Door 


4 




n 


h 


Kl 


m 


Window 


5 




i 


V 


11 


Vdv 


Hook 


6 




T 


z 


H 


Zd 'vin 


Weapon 


7 




n 


ch 


n*n 


Chith 


Fence 


8 




□ 


t 


fTp 


Ttth 


Snake 


9 




h 


yd) 


■rt* 


Ybdh 


Hand 


10 


1 


J 


k, kh 


1? 


Kaph 


The hand bem 


20 




•? 


1 


toS 


La '-mtdh 


Ox-goad 


30 


D 


a 


m 


DO 


Mem 


Water 


40 


1 


] 


n 


?« 


Nun 


Fish 


50 




p 


s 


^ap 


Sa'-m$kh 


Prop 


60 




J? 


Silent 


ri 


A-yin 


Eye 


70 


n 


D 


P, ph 


N* 


/¥ 


Month 


SO 


r 


I 


ts 


*1? 


Tsd-dh*' 


Fish-hook 


90 




P 


k(q) 


TP 


Qdph 


Back of the 
head 


100 




1 


r 


#n 


R&sh 


Head 


200 




* 


sh, s 


r^ 


Shin 


Tooth 


300 




n 


t, th 


IP 


Tav 


Cross 


400 



ular aspect of creation, Man is seen as a microcosm* with each thing 
in his body paralleling something in the forces of creation. Thus, for 
example, the six days of creation have parallels in man's two arms, 
two legs, torso and sexual organ. This is the significance of the 
Torah* s statement that God formed man "in the image of God" (Gen- 
esis 1:27), Note that the word for "Goo" here is Elohim. This is 
because man's form parallels the structure of the delineating forces 
that define creation. 

The Kabba lists note that the 32 paths of Wisdom have their par- 
allel in the human nervous system* Thirty-one of these paths then 



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Chapter One 9 

parallel the 31 nerves that emanate from the spinal cord. The thirty- 
second and highest path corresponds to the entire complex of cranial 
nerves, which are twelve in number. 

The nervous system serves a double purpose. First, it transmits 
messages from the brain to all parts of the body, allowing the mind 
to control the limbs and organs. Secondly, the nervous system trans- 
mits information from the various senses to the brain. Four of the 
senses, sight, hearing, taste and smell, come directly through the cra- 
nial nerves which are entirely in the brain. The impulses that come 
from the lower 31 nerves deal primarily with the sense of touch and 
feeling. 

Like the nerves, each of the 32 paths is a two way street. First it 
is the channel through which the Mind exerts control over creation. 
Secondly, however, it is also the path through which man can reach 
the Mind. If an individual wishes to attain a mystical experience and 
approach the Mind, he must travel along the 32 paths. 

In Hebrew, the number 32 is written Lamed Bet (ah). This spells 
Lev + the Hebrew word for heart. 7 It is in the heart that the action of 
the Mind is manifest in the body. As soon as the influence of the 
mind ceases, the heart ceases to function, this being the definition of 
death. 

The heart also provides lifeforce to the brain and nervous sys- 
tem. When the heart stops pumping, the nervous system can no 
longer function, and the mind no longer exerts influence on the body. 
The heart therefore serves as a causal link between mind and 
body. 1 

It is for this reason that Sefer Yetzirah calls the heart "the king 
over the soul" (6:3). It also describes the mystical experience as a 
"running of the heart" (1:8). 

The Torah is seen as the heart of creation. The first letter of the 
Torah is the Bel [2) of Bereshil {JTtftna}— "In the beginning. n The last 
letter of the Torah is the Lamed (•?) of Yisrael ( 1 »n^^-"Israel." 
Together, these two letters also spell out Lev (ab) t meaning heart. 9 
The 32 paths are contained in the Torah, which is the means through 
which the Mind is revealed. It is also the link between the Mind and 
the physical universe. The Torah is therefore expounded in 32 differ- 
ent ways, as taught by Rabbi Yosi of Galili. 

The two letters Lamed (b) and Bet (i) also share another unique 
distinction. As a prefix, Lamed means "to,** and Bet means u in, w The 
three letters of the Telragrammaton, Vud (*), Heh (n^ and Vav {1), 
can also serve as suffixes for personal pronouns. The suffix Yud 
means "mef Heh means "her," and Vav means "him." 



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10 SEFER YETZLRAH 

In the entire alphabet, there are only two letters to which these 
suffixes can be joined, and these arc Lamed and Bet These then spell 
out the words: 



Li 


*> to me 


Bi 


'3 in me 


Lah 


nk to her 


Bah 


m in her 


Lo 


6 to him 


Bo 


ia in him 



The two letters, Lamed and Bet, are the only ones in the entire alpha- 
bet which combine with the letters of the divine name in this 
manner. 10 

The number 32 is the fifth power of two (2 5 ). As the Sefer 
Yetzirah explains (1:5), the Ten Sefirot define a five dimensional 
space. The 32 paths correspond to the number of apexes on a five 
dimensional hypercube. 11 

This is not as difficult as it might seem. A line, which has one 
dimension, has two (2 1 ) apexes or ends, A square, having two dimen- 
sions, has four (2 2 ) apexes or corners. A cube, which has three dimen- 
sions, has eight (2 1 ) corners. We thus see that with the addition of 
each dimension, the number of apexes is doubled. A four dimen- 
sional hypercube has 16 or 2* apexes, while a five dimensional 
hypercube has 32 or 2 3 apexes. 



Paths 

The Hebrew word for "paths" here is Netivot (macro), a word that 
occurs only rarely in scripture. Much more common is the word 
Derekh (fin). As the Zohar slates, however, there is an important dif- 
ference between these two words A Derekh is a public road, a route 
used by all people. A Nativ s on the other hand, is a personal route, a 
path blazed by the individual for his personal useJ 3 It is a hidden 
path, without markers or signposts, which one must discover on his 
own, and tread by means of his own devices. 

The 32 paths of Wisdom are therefore called Netivot. They are 
private paths, which must be blazed by each individual. There is no 
open highway to the mysteries — each individual must discover his 
own path. 

The numerical value of Mitt" v (juia) is 462, This is twice the num- 
ber of the 231 Gates discussed below {2:4), These gates are a means 
through which one ascends and descends along the 32 paths. 



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Chapter One 1J 

Mystical 

These paths are said to be mystical, Peliyot (mecSs) in Hebrew. 
This comes from the root Pala (j6b), which has the connotation of 
being hidden and separated from the world at large. 13 Not only are 
these paths individual . but they are hidden, concealed and 
transcendental. 

This is very closely related to the word Peieh {hSp) t meaning a 
miracle. A miracle is separated and independent from the laws of the 
physical world. It is also influenced by hidden forces. As such, it is a 
link with the mystical and transcendental plane. The same is true of 
the paths of Wisdom, 

According to the Zohar, the word Peleh specifically relates to Che 
paths of Wisdom. 1 * The type of miracle denoted by the word Peleh 
is specifically one that is accomplished through the manipulation of 
these paths. The methods of manipulating these paths is one of the 
important teachings of Sefer Yetzirah. 

The Sefer Yetzirah later calls the three Mothers, "a great mysti- 
cal (muPhLA) secret" (3:2). The first of the three Mothers is Aleph 
<«). When spelled out, Aleph (*frk} has the same letters as Peleh 

According to the Kabbalists, the letter Aleph denotes Keter 
(Crown), the highest of the Sefirot. 1 * It is with regard to Keter that 
Ben Sirah said, "In what is mysterious (muPhLA) for you, do not 
seek." IT 

The Kabbah sts call Keter the level of Nothingness [Ayfn). 1 * It is 
on this level that the laws of nature cease to exist, and can therefore 
be altered. 

As the book Raziel points out, the three Letters of Peleh (w*») rep- 
resent increasingly hidden values-" According to the phonetic fami- 
lies defined by Sefer Yetzirah (2:3), the first letter, Peh (b), is pro- 
nounced with the Lips, the second letter, Lamed (S), with the middle 
of the tongue, and the final Alef (k), with the throat. Thus, the first 
letter is pronounced with the outermost revealed pan of the mouth, 
while the Last is voiced with the innermost concealed part. The word 
Peleh thus denotes the transition from the revealed to the 
concealed. 



Wisdom 

These 32 paths are said to be paths of Wisdom [Chakhmah). In 
a Kabbalistic sense, Wisdom is seen as pure, undifferentiated Mind, 10 
It is pure thought, which has not yet been broken up into different!- 



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12 SEFER YETZIRAH 

ated ideas. Wisdom is the level above a] J division, where everything 
is a simple unity. 

It is in recognition of this that the Talmud stales, "Who is wise 
{ChakhamY* He who learns from every man."* 1 It is on the level of 
Wisdom that all men are one. Hence, if one is on this level, he must 
learn from every human being, and indeed* from ail creation. 
According to the Baa) Shem Tov 1 this means that a person on the 
level of Wisdom must even learn from Evil. 23 It is only on levels 
below Wisdom that people are separated into different individuals. 
Only on lower levels does the division between good and evil 
exist. 

The Talmud likewise slates, "Who is wise? He who perceives the 
future,"" This is because Wisdom is the pure mind force that tran- 
scends time. On the level of Wisdom T past t present and future have 
not yet been separated. Hence, on this level, one can see the future 
just Like the past and present. 

The antithesis of Wisdom is Understanding. The Hebrew word 
for Understanding is Binah (nra>, which comes from the root Beyn 
(pa), meaning M between. "*■ 

Understanding is the level immediately below Wisdom. It is on 
the level of Understanding that ideas exist separately, where they can 
be scrutinized and comprehended. While Wisdom is pure undifferen- 
tiated Mind, Understanding is the level where division exists, and 
where things are delineated and defined as separated objects. 

On the level of Wisdom, all men are included in a single world 
soul. Understanding is the level o^Neshamah^ where the soul of each 
individual assumes a distinct identity, and each one is seen as a sepa- 
rate entity. 

The divine name associated with Understanding is Elohim." 
This is a plural word, since Understanding implies a plurality or 
forces. It is the name Elohim thai is used throughout the entire first 
chapter of Genesis in describing the act of creation. The 32 times 
that this name occurs correspond to the 32 paths of Wisdom. 

This resolves an important difficulty . If Wisdom is a simple 
undifferentiated Mind, how can it be manifest as 32 distinct paths? 
But actually, Wisdom is undifferentiated, and it is on I; ih rough the 
power of Understanding that it is divided into separated paths. These 
paths are therefore designated by the name Elohim, the name associ- 
ated with Understanding. 

An example would be water flowing ihrough a system of pipes* 
Water itself is an undifferentiated iluid n having no essential { macro- 
scopic) structure. Structure is only imposed on it when it flows 
through the system of pipes. In the analogy. Wisdom is the water, 
while Understanding represents the pipes that channel it. 



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Chapter One ] J 

The 32 paths are e\pressed as the tetters and numbers. Since 
these represent division they are manifestations of Understanding. :f 
Hence, Wisdom represents nonverbal thought, while Understanding 
is its verbalization. 

In this respect, Wisdom and Understanding are seen as being 
male and female respectively. In the Kabbalah, Wisdom is seen as 
the Father (Abba), while Understanding is Ihe Mother (ImmahJ. The 
maJe represents unchanneled creative force. This can only be brought 
into fruition when delineated, enclosed and channeled by the female 
womb. It is for this reason thai the SeTer Yetzirah (1:2) calls ihe pri- 
mary letters "Mothers.** 

This also resolves another difficulty. Earlier, we said that the 32 
paths represent the heart, since the Hebrew word for heart, Lev, actu- 
ally spelk out ihe number 32. The heart, however, is normally associ- 
ated wiih Understanding, while ihcse paths are said to pertain to 
Wisdom. 27 But the paths merely channel Wisdom, while the sub- 
stance of the paths themselves is Understanding.^ 1 



Engraved 

The text states that the Creator used these 32 paths to "engrave* 
so as to create His universe. 

The Hebrew word here is Chakak fppn). This usually has the con- 
notation of removing material, as in the verse, "Engrave (chakak) 
yourself a dwelling in a rock" (Isaiah 22:16), Derived from this root 
are the words Chok (prr) and Chukah {7^m\ meaning "rule™ and 
"decree." since rules and laws serve to remove some of the 
individual's freedom of action . M Thus, the word Chakak is closely 
related to Ma-chak (pno) T meaning "to erase," as welt as to the root 
La-kach (npb) T meaning to "remove" or **take."*» 

The word Chakak is very closely related to the concept of writ- 
ing, 31 The main difference between engraving (chakak) and writing is 
that when one writes, one adds material such as ink to the writing 
surface, while when one engraves, one removes material. When the 
Bible uses the work Chakak to designate writing, it is referring to 
such systems as cuneiform, where the text was written by removing 
wedges of clay from a lableL 

To understand why the author uses the term "engraved" here, 
we must understand the idea of creation. Before a universe could be 
created, empt> space had lo cmst in which it coil id be made. But ini- 
tially, only God existed, and all existence was filled with the Divine 



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14 SEFER VETZLRAH 

Essence, the Light of the Infinite {Or Ain Sqf). It was out of this 
undifferentiated Essence that a Vacated Space had to be engraved. 
The process, known to the Kabbalists as the Tzimtzum (Constric- 
tion), is clearly described in the Zohar:* 3 

In the beginning of the King's authority 

The Lamp of Darkness 

Engraved a hollow in the Supernal Luminescence. , , 

The hollow engraved in the Supernal Luminescence was the Vacated 
Space, in which all creation subsequently occured. 

The undifferentiated Light of the Infinite which existed before 
the Constriction is on the level of Wisdom, which is pure undeline- 
ated Mind, The power of constriction is that of Understanding, this 
being what the Zohar calls the "Lamp of Darkness." It is negative 
light, or negative existence, which can engrave a hollow in the Divine 
Essence. 

This Constriction or hollowing of the Divine Essence did not 
occur in physical space, but rather, in conceptual space. It is "hollow" 
insofar as it contains the possibility for information, but not actual 
information. As such, it is the ""Chaos and Void" [Tohu and Baku) 
mentioned in the account of creation, where the Scripture states, "the 
earth was chaos and void" (Genesis l:2) r Chaos is a state where infor- 
mation can exist, but where it does not exist. n 

The hollow was made through the 32 paths, since letters and dig- 
its arc the basic bits of information. While random Letters and num- 
bers do not actually convey information, as long as they exist, it is 
also possible for information to exist. The Vacated Space is therefore 
the state where it is possible for information to exist, but where this 
possibility has not yet been realized. 

These letters were subsequently combined into words, forming 
the Ten Sayings of Creation. Each of these sayings brought informa- 
tion into the Vacated Space, through which creation could take place 
there. 

The order was therefore first "engraving,** and then "creation. w 
The Sefer Yetzirah therefore states that the Creator "engraved, . . and 
created His universe,** 



Engraved Yah 

Many of the Kabbah si ic commentaries translate this as "He 
engraved Yah. . . , w In Hebrew, the word "he" is often not written 
out, but understood from the verbal form. The ^He** here refers to 
the Infinite Being [Ain Sof) who is above all the divine Names. w 



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Chapter One 15 

According to this, the Sefer Yetzirah is saying that the Infinite 
Being began creation b> L-n^ruvln^ the divine Names through the 32 
paths of Wisdom, The Names are written with letters, and they could 
only come into being after the letters had been created. 

It is in the same vein that some of the early KabbaLists interpret 
the first verse in Genesis to read, "In the beginning He created 
Elohim* along with the heaven and the earth."" The first thing that 
the Infinite Being created was the name Elohim, which is associated 
with the Constriction. 

The divine Names also parallel the Sefirot. Once the Vacated 
Space had been engraved, the Sefiroi could be created inside it. The 
"engraving" of this Space was therefore intimately related to these 
Names. 

This can also be read in the imperative. "With 32 mystical paths 
of Wisdom, engrave Yah. . . and create His world." The term 
"engrave" here would mean to form a clear mental image of the 
Name, so as to meditate on it, as we will discuss Later (1:14), The 
method is alluded to in Rava's saying. "If the righteous desired, they 
could create a world " ib 

Yah 

Saadia Gaon translates this as, "the Eternal.' 1 

The Kabbalists normatively associate the name Yah (n») with 
Wisdom (Chakhmah), Actually, however, only the first letter of this 
name, the Yud {+), designates Wisdom. The second letter, Heh (n) des- 
ignates Understanding, the feminine principle. 

The reason why this name as a whole is used to designate Wis- 
dom is because Wisdom cannot be grasped except when it is clothed 
in Understanding, For this reason, the Yud alone is not used as ihe 
name for Wisdom, but rather, the Yud combined with the Heh. 

There are a number of reasons why these two letters represent 
Wisdom and Understanding respectively, Yud has the primary form 
of a simple point. This alludes to the fact that Wisdom is simple and 
undifferentiated. The numerical value of Yud is ]0 t indicating that 
all Ten Sefirot are included in the simple nature of Wisdom. 

At the beginning of a word, the letter Yud indicates the mascu- 
line future. This is related to the teaching, "Who is wise? He who 
perceives the future.* 131 

At the end of a word, when used as a suffix, the letter Yud means 
"me" or "my." Wisdom is the essential nature of the individual, 
belonging to him alone. As such, it is the ultimate "my." The same 
is true of the Sefirah of Wisdom {Chakhmah) with respect to the Infi- 
nite Being. 



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16 SEFER YETZIRAH 

Heh has a numerical value of 5, alluding to the five fingers of 
the hand. As such, it represents Understanding, the hand that holds 
Wisdon T distributing and channeling it. u 

At the beginning of a word, the prefix Heh means "the.* It is the 
definite article* that specifies and delineates an object. Like a hand, 
the definite article holds and specifies a concept that is specific rather 
than general At the end of a word. Heh indicates the feminine pos- 
sessive, -her. 4 * This is because Understanding is the domain of the 
Feminine Essence. 

Heh is one of the two Letters in the Hebrew alphabet that is wriu 
ten as two disjunct parts. This alludes 10 the fact that Understanding 
represents the beginning of separation. 

There is some disagreement in the Talmud as to whether or not 
Yah is a divine name." The Sefer Yetzirah clearly takes the position 
thai it is. 



Yah> the Lord... 

In Hebrew, this is written as YH YffVff(^cr* rt>>. It was wilh these 
si* Letters that God created all things. It is thus written, "Trust in 
God for eternity of eternities, for with YH YHVH He formed uni- 
verses" (Isaiah 20:4). *° 



The Lord of Hosts 

Tills name usually designates the Sefirot which are associated 
with revelation and prophecy. These are Netzach {Victory} and Hod 
(Splendor),* 1 

This name, however, also contains the Tctragrammaion 
(YHVH), here translated as "the Lord." The Tetragrammaton desigr 
nates the totality of all the Sefirot. Hence, the phrase, "YHVH of 
Hosts," actually represents all the Sefirot as they are revealed to 
man.* 2 

This is the reason for the designation, ^YHVH of Hosts." It 
refers to revelation! the stale in which God associates Himself with 
beings that are lower than Himself, namely, His "hosts," 

According to the Talmud, the first person to use the designation, 
"Lord of Hosts," was Hannah, when she prayed, "O Lord of Hosts, 
if You will Look at the affliction of Your servant" (I Samuel 
l:ll),*> 



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Chapter One 17 

God of Israel 

This is connected to "Lord of Hosts." While revelation in general 
is to all of God's hosts, in particular, it is granted to Israel. As we 
shall see (2:4), the name Israel is closely associated with the 231 
gates. 

The Hebrew word For "God" here is Elohim. This alludes to 
Understanding, the concept that divides and delineates. 



The Living God 

The name is associated with the essential creative forces, repre- 
sented by the Sell rah of Yesod (Foundation). In man, this force paral- 
lels the sexual organ. 

In Hebrew, this phrase is Eiohim Chaim. This Sefirah takes all 
the forces, collectively referred to as Elohim, and presents them in 
an active, procreative mode. Life is defined as that which is active 
and procreates, and hence, this is the connotation of "Living 
God."* 



King of the Universe 

This is the mode in which God relates to the universe as a king, 
and it isassociaiLd with the SL-finih of Malkhm {Kingship}. Of all the 
Sefirot, this is the only one which comes into direct contact with the 
lower stages of creation. 

The first five designations, "Yah, the Lord of Hosts, God of 
Israel, the Living GodL King of the Universe," thus designate the Ten 
Sefirot in their downward mode, as they are the source of all creative 
force. 



El Shaddai 

These two names are usually translated as "Almighty God." 
Saadia Gaon, however; translates them as "Qmnipoteiu Almighty." 

Here the Sefer Yeuirah begins designating the Sefirot in an 
upward mode. In the Bahir, the disciples thus ask, "From above to 
below we know r Bui from below to above we do not know." Ji 



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It SEFER YETZJRAH 

The designation El Shaddai is also related lo the procreative 
force represented by Yesod (Foundation), and corresponding to the 
sexual organ in man. 

We therefore have two designations for Yesod {Foundation), 
"Living God" {Ehhim Chaim), and El ShaddaL 

"Living God" is the designation of this Sefirah from a God^s eye 
view, while El Shaddai is its designation from a man's eye view. God 
thus told Moses, "I appeared to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as EL 
Shaddar (Exodus 6;3). 

The first five designations represented the downward process, 
from God to the universe, through which the creative force is chan- 
neled. The author, however, is now designating the names that relate 
to the upward process, through which man approaches the Divine. 
"King of the Universe " the lowest stage, applies to both directions. 



Merciful and Gracious 

These are the second and third of the Thirteen Attributes of 
Mercy, expressed in the verse, "El, merciful and gracious" (Enodus 
34:6).* 

On this level, one can comprehend the inner workings of the six 
Sefiroi, Chesed (Love), Gevurah (Strength), Tiferet (Beauty), Neteach 
(Victory), and Hod (Splendor). It is through these Sefirot that God 
expresses His mercy to the world. This Level was gained by Moses 
when God told htm, "I will have mercy upon whom I will have 
mercy, and 1 will be gracious to whom I will be gracious" (Exodus 
33:19). 



High and Exalted 

The next designations are all taken from the verse, "For thus says 
{God] T High and Exalted, dwelling in Eternity, and whose Name is 
Holy, I dwell lofty and holy..." (Isaiah 57:l5>. 

"High and Exalted" refers to the level of Understanding (Binah). 
The lower seven Sefirot correspond to the seven days of creation. 
Understanding (Binah) is above these seven Sefirot, and hence, it is 
the level preceding action and creation. This is the level where God 
is seen as being utterly train seen dental, separated from all the worldly, 
and hij^h above everything mundane. 

"Dwelling in eternity" speaks of the level of Wisdom 
(Chakhmah). This is the level that is above time. Here one perceives 
God as transcending not only space, but time as well. 



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Chapter One 1 9 

"His Name is Holy" alludes to the level of the Crown (Keter), 
the highest of the Sefirat. 

The Kabbaltsts note that the expression, "His Name," which in 
Hebrew is Sh 'mo (iop) t has a numerical value [gemetrio) of 346< This 
is the same as the value of Ratzon (pn), meaning "wilL" 47 Will is 
even higher than Wisdom, since it is the implusc that gives rise to all 
things, even thought. In Kabbah stic terms. Will is designated as 
Crown (Keter), Just as a crown is worn above the head, so is the Will 
above and outside all mental processes, 

The word Holy {Kudosh) denotes separation^ and its general 
sense implies separation from the mundane. 44 The expression, "His 
Name is Holy + " indicates that the Crown is a level that is separated 
and removed from every imaginable concept. Since it is above the 
menial processes, it cannot be grasped by them. 

Thy last expression "lofty and holy** is not found in many ver- 
sions of Sefer Yetzirah. It possibly relates to the Infinite Being (Ain 
Sof), which is lofty above all concepts, even Will. 

The last five designations thus refer to the rungs which man must 
climb to reach the Infinite. These are the Sefirot in their upward 
mode. 

The impulse of creation first went downward through the Sefirot, 
and then it went upward again, returning to the Infinite, Only then 
could creation take place. 



With three books 

Sefer Yetzirah now begins to define the word Sefirah, the 
Hebrew designation for the divine emanation* that form the basis of 
creation. 

The Hebrew word for book, Sepker (tbdK has the same root as 
the word Sephirok (tpw), except that the former is masculine and 
the latter is feminine. 

These three books are said to be "text, number, and communica- 
tion. w The Hebrew word for "text*" here is Sepher (n&o> % which literally 
means "book, 1 * "Number" is Sepfwr (two), from which the English 
word "cipher' is derived, "Communication 1 ' is Sippur (tuto), which 
more literally is "telling." 

These three divisions respectively represent quality, quantity, 
and communication. These are the letters, numbers, and the manner 
in which they are used/* 

These three books correspond to the three divisions of" creation 
defined by Sefer Yetzirah. namely, "Universe, Year, and Soul." In 



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30 SEFER VETZIRAH 

Table 4. The three books. 



Text {Sepher) 


World (space) 


Form of Letters 


Number (Sephar) 


Year (time) 


Numerical Value 


Communication 


Sou) (spirit) 


Pronunciation and 


(Sippur) 




Name of Letters 



more modern terms, these would be called space, time and spirit. 
*Uni verse" refers to the dimensions of space, "year" to time, and 
"soul" to the spiritual dimension. See Table 4. 

As we shall see, the Sefer Yetzirah speaks of a five-dimensional 
continuum, defined by the Ten Sefirot. The first three are the three 
dimensions of space, the fourth dimension is time, while the fifth is 
the spiritual dimension. 

Since ihe three spatial dimensions comprise a single continuum, 
the three of them together constitute the first "book." Time is the 
second "book," while the spiritual dimension is the third. 

The three books define the three ways in which the array of the 
32 paths can be presented. First, one can draw a diagram representing 
them, as one would picture them in a book. This is the aspect of 
^text." This is also the aspect in which they appear in the Book of 
the Torah T in the first chapter of Genesis. 

Secondly, one can express the numerical sequence* and distribu- 
tions of these paths. Thus, for example, as the Sefer Yen i rah states 
(1:2), the 32 paths consist often Sefirot, and 22 letters, the latter 
which consists of three Mothere, seven Doubles, and twelve Elemen- 
tals. This is the aspect of number in the 32 paths. This is also related 
to their affinity to certain geometrical forms. 

Finally, one can speak of the relationships between these paths 
as they convey information. This is the level of "communication." It 
is closely related to the 32 paths where they represent states of con- 
sciousness, as presented in Appendix II. 

These three aspects are most apparent in the letters of the 
alp habet. JD There are three primary ways in which the letters can be 
interpreted. First, there is the physical form of the letters, as they are 
written in a book. This is the aspect of "text" (Sepher), which literally 
means book. Secondly, there is the numerical value or gematria of 
the letter, this being "number." Finally, there is the sound of the let- 
ter, as well as the way its name is pronounced, this being 
""communi cation" or "lelling," See Table 5 on page 22. 

"Text" {Sepher}. the physical form of the letter, pertains to the 
continuum of space, since form only can be defined in space. This is 
"Universe,^ Number (Sephar), implies sequence, and this is the 
sequence of time, which is the continuum of the "Year." Finally, 



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Chapter One 21 

communication (Sippur) applies to the mind, arid this is in the spirit- 
ual continuum, which is "Soul." 

These three words also define the term Sefirah* First the word 
Sefirah share* the root with Sefer, meaning book. Like a book, each 
Scfirah can record information. The Sefirol thus serve as a memory 
bank in the domain of the Divine. A permanent record of everything 
that has ever taken place in all creation is thus made on the 
Sefirot. 

Secondly* the word Sefirah shares a root with Sephar, meaning 
number It is the Sefirol that introduce an element of number and 
plurality into existence. The Creator* the Infinite Being, is the mosi 
absolute unity, and the concept of number does not apply to Him in 
any manner whatever. In speaking of the Infinite Being, the Sefer 
Yetzirah therefore asks, "Before one, what do you count" (1:7)? It is 
only with the creation of the Sefirol that the concept of number 
comes into being. 

In this mode n every event and action is measured and weighed 
by the Sefirot, and the appropriate response is conceived and calcu- 
lated- Using the computer as an analogy, the Sefirot function as the 
processing unit of the Divine domain in this mode. 

Finally, the word Sefirah shares a root with Sippur, which means 
"communication" and "telling " The Sefirot are the means through 
which God communicates with His creation They are also the means 
through which man communicates with God. If not for the Sefirot, 
God, the Infinite Being, would be absolutely unknowable and 
unreachable. It is only through the Sefirot that he can be 
approached. 

Of course, as all the Kabbah sts warn, one should not in any way 
worship the Sefirot or pray to lhem. Sl One may, however, use them 
as a channel. Thus, for example, one would not think of direct i ng a 
petition to the postman , but one could use him to deliver a message 
to the king. In a mystical sense, the Sefirot form a ladder or tree 
through which one can Mimb" and approach the Infinite. 

Thus, when the Sefer Yetzirah presents the words Sepher, Sephar 
and Sippur here, it is not doing so accidentally. Rather, the book is 
deliberately presenting roots which define the concept of the Sefirot. 
This is all the more obvious, since this entire chapter deals with the 
Sefirot. 

The three aspects, "text, number and communication," are the 
keys to the methods of Sefer Yetzirah. 

If one wishes to influence anything in the physical universe 
(spaced he must make use of the physical shape of the letters. If this 
involves a meditative technique, one would contempbn, - the appro- 
priate letters, as if they were written in a book. The method involves 



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22 



SEFER YETZ1RAH 



Tabic t 


j. The numerical 


value of letters. 


















Phonetic 


Letter 


Name 




Sound 


Value 


Designation 


Family 


H 


Alef 


■fw silent 


1 


mother 


guttural 


3 


Bet 


ro 


frBfl 


: 


double 


labial 


; 


Gimmel 


S Si 


G,Gh 


3 


double 


palatal 


l 


Dalet 


TlVl 


D,Dh 


4 


double 


lingual 


n 


Hen 


«n 


H 


? 


elemental 


guttural 


i 


Vav 


" 


V(W) 


6 


elemental 


labial 


* 


Zayin 


r 


Z 


■" 


elemental 


dental 


n 


Chet 


r*~ 


German ch 


a 


elemental 


guttural 


□ 


Tel 


r*^ 


T 


y 


elemental 


lingua] 


* 


Yod 


-i- 


Y{1) 


10 


elemental 


palatal 


"P 


Kaf 


nj 


K,Kh 


20 


double 


palatal 


<? 


Lamed 


Ttf? 


L 


30 


elemental 


lingual 


DJJ 


Mem 


55 


M 


40 


mother 


labial 


T.J 


Nun 


It) 


N 


50 


elemental 


lingual 





Samekh 


TDD 


s 


60 


elemental 


dental 


V 


Eyin 


rv 


silent 


70 


elemental 


guttural 


TJ* 


Peh 


XD 


P,Ph 


SO 


double 


labial 


r^ 


Tiadi 


T* 


r? 


yo 


clcmcntaJ 


denial 


p 


Kuf 


IV 


K(Q) 


100 


elemental 


palatal 


i 


Resh 


r^ 1 


R.Rh 


200 


double 


dental 


p 


Shin 


rr 


5h(S) 


500 


mother 


dental 


n 


Tav 


t 


T F Th 


400 


double 


Ungual 



making each particular letter combination fill the entire field of 
vision, eliminating all other thoughts from the mind. 

Finally, if one wishes to influence the spiritual realm, he must 
make use, either of the sounds of ihe letters, or of their names. This 
technique, which we shall describe, is ihe one that is used when mak- 
ing a Golem. 



1. f\ m*nw d'jipi crippi rra il >i miro irp 
■ ^ mvp dtipi nftiM jjaui mat* vbv no* 

Ten Seftrot of Nothingness 
And 22 Foundation Letters: 

Three Mothers. 

Seven Doubles 

And Twelve Etementah. 



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23 



Ten Sefirot 



The Sefer Yetzirah now defines the 32 paths as consisting of 10 
Sefirot and 22 letters. 

The word Se/irah literally means "counting.** It is thus distin* 
guished From the word Xiispar, meaning "number." Although the 
Sefirot are said to represent the ten basic digits, they are not actual 
numbers- Rather, they are the sources from which the numbers origi- 
nate. Although the Sefer Yetzirah does not name the Ten Sefirot, 
their names are well known from the classical Kabbalah. They are 
given in Table 6. The Sefirot are usually presented id an array con- 
sisting of three columns, as in the figure. 

The names of the Sefirot are all derived from scripture. In 
recounting BeizaleFs qualifications, God says, w l have filled him with 
the spirit of Goo\ with Wisdom, with Understanding, and with 
Knowledge" (Exodus 31:3). As the Sefer Yetzirah later states (1;9), 
the "spirit of God" refers to Keter (Crown), the first of the Sefirot. 
Wisdom and Understanding then refer to the next two Sefirot. 

The first two Sefirot are likewise alluded to in the verse, "With 
Wisdom, God established the earth, and with Understanding, He 
established the heavens, and with His Knowledge, the depths were 
broken up" (Proverbs 3; 10,20). It is likewise written, "With Wisdom 
a house is built, with Understanding it is established, and with 
Knowledge its rooms are filled" (Proverbs 24; 3,4). 



Table 6. 


The ten Sefirot, 




1. 


Keter 


Crown 


2. 


Chakhmah 


Wisdom 


3. 


Binah 
[Daat] 


Understanding 
[Knowledge] 


4 r 


Chesed 


Love 


5, 


Gevurah 


Strength 


6. 


Tiferet 


Beauty 


7, 


Netzach 


Victory 


8 + 


Hod 


Splendor 


9, 


Yesod 


Foundation 


10. 


Malkhut 


Kingship 



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| Daal 









Figure \ . The Sefirot. 




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Chapler One 25 

All of these sources list three qualities— Wisdom, Understand- 
ing, and Knowledge. Knowledge* however, is not a Seflrah, but 
merely the point of confluence between Wisdom and Understanding. 
In many ways, however, it behaves as a Sefirah, and it is thus often 
included among thern." 

The next seven Sefirot are named in the verse, "Yours God 
are the Greatness (4), the Strength (5), the Beauty (6) + the Victory (7), 
and the Splendor (8), for All (9) in heaven and in earth; Yours O God 
is the Kingdom (10).„" (1 Chronicles 29:11)." It is here that the 
names of all the lower Sefirot are defined. See figure 1 on page 24. 
In most sources, however, the first of these is called Chesed (Love) 
instead of Geriulah (Greatness). Similarly, the sixth is called Yesod 
(Foundation) rather than "All " In older Kabbalistic tents, however, 
both designations are used. 

According to some Kabba lists, the Ten Sefirot also parallel the 
10 Hebrew vowels.** Together with the 22 letters, they then comprise 
the totality of the Hebrew language. 



Of Nothingness 

The Hebrew word here is Beli-mah (nac^i). This word can also 
be translated as meaning closed, abstract, absolute or ineffable. 

This word occurs only once in scripture, in the verse, "He 
stretches the north on Chaos, He hangs the earth on Nothingness 
{Beti-mahf (Job IbJ), According to many commentaries, the word 
Beii-mah is derived from the two words, Reli, meaning "without," 
and Mah y meaning "what" or "anything." The word Beli-mah would 
then mean "without anything/* or "nothingness"* 5 

According to this interpret ion t the designation "Sefirot of Noth- 
ingness" is used to indicate that the Sefirot are purely ideal concepts, 
without any substance whatever. Unlike letters which have form and 
sound, the Sefirot have no intrinsic physical properties. As such, they 
are purely conceptual. 

Other sources state that Betimah comes from the root Baiam 
(dSi), meaning "to bridle." This is found in the verse, "Do not be like 
a horse or mule, who do not understand, whose mouth must be bri- 
dled (baiam) with bit and rein** (Psafms 32:9)." 

This second interpretation seems to be indicated by the Sefer 
Yeuirah itself, since it later says, "Bridle {baiam) your mouth from 
speaking of them" (l;S) r According to this, Beiimah would be trans- 
lated as "ineffable." The text is speaking of "Ten Ineffable Sefirot," 
indicating that they cannot be described in any manner whatever. 



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SEFER rTTTZIRAH 




Figure 2. Ten points linked by 22 fines. There are three horizontals, 
seven verticals, and rweive diagonals. 

Similarly, the Biblical verse T "He hangs the earth on the ineffable," 
would mean that the forces which uphold creation cannot be 
described, }T 

According to both interpre la lions, the Sefirot arc distinguished 
from the letters. While the kiurs are primarily modes of expression, 
the Sefirot are inexpressible by their very nature, 

A leading: Kabbalist, Rabbi Issac of Acco (1250-1340), points out 
that Beiimah has a numerical value of 87, God's name ELohim, on 
the other hand, has a value of 86. Beiimah thus represents the stage 
immediately following the pure essence of the Divine. 51 

22 Foundation Letters 

In the simplest sense, these are calk-d Foundation Letters because 
it was through the letters of the Hebrew alphabet that the universe 
was created. "The Sefer Vetzirah iiself therefore says of the letters, 
"with them He depicted all that was formed, and all thai would ever 
be formed' 1 il\2). This is also alluded lo in what the Talmud says of 
the builder of the Tabernacle, "Betzalel knew how to permute the let- 
ters with which heaven and earth were made.'* 60 

With each act of creation, the Torah reports that "God said." 
Thus, "God said: let there be light," and "God said, lei there be a 
firmament.** The decrees through which God brought creation into 
being consisted of sayings. These in turn consisted of words, and 
these words were formed out of letters Hence, it was through the 
letters of the alphabet that the universe was created. 



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Chapter One 21 

These letter? of creation were not only responsible for the incep- 
tion of the world* but they also constantly sustain it. M is thus written, 
"Forever, O God, Your word stands in the heavens" (Psalms 1 1 °: S 9 J, 
The very words and letters with which the universe was created are 
also the ones which constantly sustain it. If these words and letters 
were withdrawn for even an instant, the universe would cease to 
exist, Sl 

Thus, if one knows how to manipulate the Letters correctly, one 
can also manipulate the most elemental forces of creation. The meth- 
ods of doing this comprise the main subjects of Scfer Vetzirah. 

In Hebrew, "Foundation Letters" is Otiot Yesod. This can also 
be translated, "Letters of Foundation." 

In the Kabbalah, Foundation {Vesod) is the Sefirah that corre- 
sponds to the sex u nl organ. It therefore has ihe connotation of coup- 
ling and pairing, usually for the purpose of procreation. 

The letters are said to pertain to Foundation (Yesod), since it is 
only through the letters that Wisdom and Understanding can come 
together and be coupled. As discussed earlier. Wisdom is pure non- 
verbal thought. Understanding, on the other hand, can only be ver- 
bal, since if an idea cannot be expressed verbally, it cannot be under- 
stood- The only link between nonverbal Wisdom, and verbal 
Understanding, consists of the letters of the alphabet. 

This is also evident from the above mentioned Talmudic leach- 
ing. The Talmud states thai, "Belzalel knew how to permute the let- 
ters with which heaven and earth were made." This is derived from 
the verse where God says of Betzalel, u l will fill him with the spirit 
of God, with Wisdom, with Understanding, and with Knowledge" 
{Exodus 31:3). 

We therefore see that the ability to manipulate the letters of cre- 
ation dependson" Wisdom A riders landing, and Knowledge " Knowl- 
edge {Daaf}, however, is the point at which Wisdom and Understand- 
ing come together. If has the connotation of joining and intercourse, 
as in the verse, **Adam fcn^whis wife Eve" (Genesis 4: 1).* 2 Knowledge 
therefore serves in the place of Foundation between Wisdom and 
Understanding. It is in this same context that the Scfer Yeizirah 
speaks of "Letters of Foundation." 

In a more general sense, the letters serve to pair off and connect 
all the SefiroL This is particularly true in the "Tree of Life* shown 
in figure I fpage 24), which shall be discussed in detail 

Three Mothers 

These art the three letters, Alef (k), Mem (o), and Shin (p). They 
will be discussed at length in Chapter Three. These letters are called 



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Point! Horizcmlals Verticals Diagonals \ ,-\l 

(Scfin&O (Mothers) (Doubles) (Elemental*) (Letters) 






SO 



n 



10 



12 



2: 



y- 



Genera 3n + 1 n in - I in 8n - 2 






Natural Array 



According to the older Kabbah sis 



According 10 ihe 5a fed School, based on the 2ohar (1:59b). 
Cf. Pardes Rtmomm 7:1 



Figure 3 Family of diagrams. 



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2* 




Figure 4. The 32 paths as defined by {he Art. 



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M 



SEFER VETZIRAH 




Figure 5. The M paths according to the Grv r 



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Chapter One 



31 



"Mothers" because they are primary, Essentially, Alef is the first let- 
ter of the alphabet, Mem is the middle letter, and Shin is the second 
from the last." The reason why Tav {n) — the last letter of the alpha- 
bet — is not used is because it is one of the Doubles. 

One reason why these letters are called "Mothers* 1 is because, in 
general, the letters are derived from Understanding (Binah). As dis- 
cussed earlier, Understanding is the primary feminine principle, and 
is therefore called Mother This is alluded to in the verse, "For you 
shall call Understanding a Mother" (Proverbs 2: J). w Since these are 
the primary letters, they are called the "Mothers."* 5 

These letters are also called mothers (lmot) in the same sense 
that a crossroad is called a "mother of the road* 4 (EzekieL 21:26). 66 
These three letters are called "crossroads,* 1 since they form the hori- 
zontal links between the Sefirot in the Tree of Life diagram. On a 
more basic level, these are "mothers,* because the number of hori- 
zontal links defines the order of the array, as discussed below. 



Seven Doubles 

These are the seven letters that can express two sounds: Bet (3}, 
Gimel (i}> Dalet (i), Kaf (3), Pen (&)> Resh (i) T and Tav (n). 

The Elemental* are the twelve remaining letters, which have a 
single sound. These two groups will be discussed in chapters four and 
five, respectively. 



1 


V 1 

1 X 


n\ 




J 1 





Figure 6. The paths defined by the Gra. as fhc\ appear it! the Warsan . 
tim edition , (p. 26b of Part Two), 



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n SEFER YETZLRAH 

If we draw ten points in three columns in the simplest manner, 
we see that they art automatically linked by 22 lines. Of these, three 
are horizontal, seven are vertical, and twelve are diagonal as shown 
in figure 2 on page 26. The division presented by Sefer Yetzirah is 
therefore a natural consequence of the array. This figure can actu- 
ally be looked upon as a member of a family of diagrams The order 
of the diagram is Ihen determined tn the number of horizontal 
links. 

In practice, for reasons dealing with the basic nature of the 
Sefirol* they are not arranged in this natural order, but have the mid- 
dle line lowered somewhat. There are several different ways thai the 
Kabbalists assign the letters in these diagrams. These are shown in 
figures 3-6. 



1:3 



pan rnj?2Y« -\vy i&vuj na^3 jitthj ttj? 
rhwj yytao jron -mr nmai van -rua 
mparr nVaai ymhr\ 



Ten Sefirot of Nothingness 

in the number of ten fingers 

five opposite five 
with a singular covenant 

precisely in the middie 
in the circumcision of the tongue 
and in the circumcision of the membrum. 



The number of ten fingers 

Creation is said to have been accomplished with God's fingers. 
as it is written, "When I see Your heavens, the work of Your fingers'' 
(Psalms 8:4), The 10 numerical digits similarly parallel the ten fingers 
in man. The five fingers of the hand contain a total of fourteen bones. 
This is the numerical value for Yad (*r) t the Hebrew word for hand. 



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Chapler One 3J 

Five opposite live 

Although the Sefirot are usually divided into three columns, they 
can also be arranged in two arrays, one to the right, and the other to 
the left. The "masculine* Sefirot on the right side would then be all 
those normally on the right, as well as the upper two center Sefirot. 
The "feminine" Sefirot on the left would include the three normally 
on the left, together with the lower two center Sefirot.* 7 

The five masculine Sefirot are often referred to as the five Loves 
(Chasadim), since they are on the side of Chesed (Love). The five 
feminine Sefirot are similarly called the five Strengths (Gevurot) 
because they are on the side of Gevurah (Strength). See figure 7 on 
page 34, 

When the Sefirot are in their normal state, arrayed in three col- 
umns, they are in a state of equilibrium. But when the Sefirot of the 
central column are moved to the right and left, so as to divide the 
Sefirot into two arrays, a powerful tension is produced When they 
are in such a mode, powerful spiritual forces can be directed and 
channeled- 

Therefore. in many places where God interferes directly with the 
physical world, the scripture speaks of God's fingers or hands. The 
most obvious case occurs with reference to creation itself which the 
Psalmist calls "the work of Your fingers," as quoted above. We simi- 
larly find, "My [left] hand has founded the earth, and My right hand 
has spread out the heavens" (Isaiah 48: 13), Before such a creative act 
could take place, all the Sefirot had to be polarized to male and 
female sides, generating tension and force. Just as human procreation 
involves male and female, so does Divine creation. 

Very closely related to this are the various actions that use the 
hands to channel spiritual forces* These include the laying of hands, 
the lifting of the hands in the Priestly Blessing, and the spreading of 
the hands in prayer. In all these cases, the intent is to channel the 
power of the Ten Sefirot through the ten fingers.* 8 In making them 
correspond to the two hands, the Sefirot are polarized, creating spirit- 
ual tension. See figure 8 on page 34. Once such tension exists, 
through meditation and concentration, the powers of the Sefirot can 
be focused and channeled. 



And a singular covenant 

The Hebrew here is Brit Yachid. Some read Brit Yickud, "a unify- 
ing covenant," but the meaning is similar.** A similar concept is 
found in the last chapter with regard to Abraham (6:7), In general, a 



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covenant (brri) is something that comes between two separate parti. 
The paradigm of a covenant is that which God made with Abraham 
when he commanded him, "Take to Me a prime heifer, a prime 
female goat T a prime ram h a turtle dove, and a young pigeon" {Gene- 
sis 15:9).™ These five animals paralleled the five fingers. Three of 
the animal* were divided in half so that the six halves represented 
the six Sefirot that are normally to the right and left. The four halves 
of the birds, which were not divided, represented the four Sefirot 
which are normally in the center line. See figure 9, 

Feminine Sircngihs < Left \ Masculine Loves [Rifihi) 



Binah 
Gem rah 
Hod 
Yesod 
Malktim 



Kelcr 

Chakhmah 

Chcscd 

Tifcrci 

Ncizath 




Figure 7. Masculine and feminine Sefirot 




Figure S. Poiari-ing the ten Sefirot through the ten finders. 



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Chapter One 35 

Turtle Dove 
Heifer 

Female Goal 

Ram 

Young Pigeon 
Figure 9. Abraham's covenant. 

The two tablets containing the Ten Commandments were also 
called the "Tablets of the Covenant" (Deuteronomy 9:9). It was for 
this reason that they were given as two tablets, rather than as a single 
one. 

When the Ten Sefirot are divided into this double array, the 
place in the middle becomes the focus of spiritual tension. This place 
is then called the "singular covenant* 1 or "unifying covenant." 

Circumcision of the Tongue 

The Hebrew word for "circumcision" is Milah, This same word, 
however, also means "word/ as we find, "God s spirit speaks in me, 
and His word {milah) is on my tongue" (2 Samuel 23:2). Hence this 
can also be translated, "a word of the tongue." The "circumcision of 
the tongue" refers to the ability to utilize the mysteries of the Hebrew 
language.'" It also refers to the ability to probe the mysteries of the 
Tonih." 

In a more general sense, such circumcision denotes a fluency of 
speech. One who cannot speak properly is said to have 
"uncircumcised Lips* Moses thus said, "How will Pharoah listen to 
me, when I have uncircumcised lips?** (Exodus 6:12)- When one is 
given the power of proper speech, his tongue is said to be circum- 
cised. This is both the "circumcision* and the "word" of the 
tongue. 

A good example of this is found in the Priestly Blessing. Here, 
the priests raise their hands and pronounce the blessing outlined in 



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3* SEFER VETZIRAH 

scripture (Numbers 6:22-27), The priests must raise their hands so 
that they are precisely level with the mouth, as it is written, "Aaron 
lifted up his hands toward the people, and he blessed them" (Leviti- 
cus 9:22). ?J The cohen-priest must concentrate on the fact that his 
ten fingers represent the Ten Sefirot As a result of the focus of spirit- 
ual force between his two hands, his tongue is "circumcised,** and his 
blessing has its proper effect. 

The same is true of raising one's hands in prayer. Here again, 
the two hands focus spritual power so as to "circumcise" the tongue, 
allowing the individual to pray effectively. In some Kabbalistic medi- 
tative systems, the raised hand position was likewise used to focus 
spiritual energy. u U was for a very similar reason that the cohen- 
priests had to wash their hands and feet before engaging in the divine 
service. 75 

This also provides insight into the significance of the two Cheru- 
bim that were on the Ark of the Covenant in the Holy of Holies. 
These two Cherubim were the source of all prophecy. Prophecy 
involves a particularly intense focusing of spiritual energy, allowing 
ihe prophet to actually speak in God's name. Prophecy was thus the 
ultimate level of "circumcision of the tongue." 

In describing the Ark T God told Moses, **l will commune with 
you. and I will speak to you from above the ark -cover, from between 
the two Cherubim, which are on the Ark of Testimony** (Exodus 
25:22). '* What was true of Moses was also true of the other prophets, 
and the influx of prophecy was channeled primarily through these 
two Cherubs in the Holy of Holies, There is some evidence that at 
least in some cases, the prophetic experience was the result of intense 
meditation of these two Cherubim. 77 When the Cherubim were 
removed from the Holy of Holies with the destruction of the First 
Temple, prophecy as such ceased to exist. 

According to the Zohar, the two Cherubim represented the 
Seflrot divided into a masculine and feminine array. 79 These were 
placed on the Ark, which contained the original Tablets of the Ten 
Commandments. There were five Commandments on each tablet, so 
the two represented a similar array of the Sefiroi, This created a per- 
manent state of tension, through which the spiritual force associated 
with prophecy could be focused. 



Circumcision of the Membrum 

Just as the fingers of the two hands represent the Ten Sefirot, so 
do the toes of the two feet. Between the legs is the circumcision of 
the sexual organ. 



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Chapter One 37 

In order 10 understand the significance of this circumcision, one 
must realize why God commanded thai it be done on the eighth day. 
The Torah states, "On the eighth day, the flesh of his foreskin must 
be circumcised'* (Leviticus 1 2:3),** The covenant of circumcision was 
originally given to Abraham. 

The world was created in six days t representing the six primary 
directions that exist in a three-dimensional universe. The seventh 
day n the Sabbath, is the perfection of the physical world, and it repre- 
sents the focal point of these six directions, as discussed below (4:4). 
The eighth day then represents a step above the physical, into the 
realm of the transcendental 1 " 

Through the covenant of circumcision, God gave Abraham and 
his desendents power over the transcendental plane. The most obvi- 
ous case in which this occurs is in conception, where a soul is brought 
down into the world. Since the mark of the covenant is on the sexual 
organ, it gives the individual access to the highest spiritual realms, 
from which he can draw down the most lofty souls. 

By meditating on the fact that the ten toes represent the Ten 
Sefirot, one is able to concentrate spiritual energy into the sexual 
organ .« Through such methods, one can gain complete control 
over one's sexual activities, even in the midst of intercourse.^ By 
sanctifying oneself in this manner during sexual intercourse, one 
is able to determine the qualities of the child that will be 
conceived 54 

The covenant of circumcision also represents the channeling of 
sexual energy. The sexual drive is one of the most poweful psycholog- 
ical forces in man, and when it is channeled along spiritual lines, it 
can help bring one to the highest mystical states. In giving the com- 
mandment of circumcision, God indicated that the emotions and 
desires associated with sex could be used for the mystical quest of 
the Divine on a transcendental plane. 

The juxtaposition between the "circumcision of the tongue" and 
the "circumcision of the mem brum" explains the prophetic position 
favored by Elijah. The scripture states, "Elijah went up to the top of 
the Carmel, entranced himself on the ground, and placed his face 
between his knees" (1 Kings IS: 42). This position was used for the 
intense concentration of spiritual energy. According to the Midrash, 
this position was used because it placed the head in conjunction with 
the mark of circumcision." 

When one is in this position, all of these forces are brought 
together. The ten fingers, ten toes, tongue and sexual organ comprise 
a total of 22 elements, paralleling the 22 letters of the Hebrew alpha- 
bet. 56 The individual's body itself thus becomes an alphabet, with 
which he can "write" in the spiritual realm. 



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1:4 



tth) ivy jrem «Vi ivy norta jiitbd top 
pna nj*3J asm rra^ra pn rrrpy nrw 
iyv arm lma Sy *in inpm ono -npni Dm 



Ten Sefirot of Nothingness 

ten and not nine 

ten and nor eleven 
Understand with Wisdom 
Be wise with Understanding 

Examine with them 

and probe from them 
Make (each] thing stand on its essence 
And make the Creator sit on His base. 



This section speaks primarily of the first three Sefirot. Keter 
(Crown), Chakhmah (Wisdom), and Binah ( I indcrsta riding). Later, 
we find a similar discussion with regard to the lower seven Sefirot 
(4:5). 



Ten and not nine 

The highest faculty in man is will. This corresponds to the first 
of the Sefirot, Keter (Crown). 

If one were to attempt to describe God, it would be tempting to 
say that He is pure Will. This would be very much Like saying that 
God is "spirit," or thai He is ^love," since all such descriptions 
attempt lo depict God in terms of human traits. If any human trait 
were to be used, however, it should be will since this is the highest 
of all human faculties. 

If ue would say that God was pure Will, however, then we would 
be saying that He is identical with Keter. Keter, however, is merely 
a Set! rah, and as such T it is something created by God and inferior 
to Him, We therefore cannot even say that God in pure Will. Even 
Will is among His creations, and is inferior lo Him. Therefore, there 
is no word that can be used to describe God h s essence 

The author consequently states that the Sefirot are "ten and not 
nine." For if we were to say that God is Will, then Keter would be 
identical to God T and only nine Sefirot would remain. But since there 



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Chapter One 39 

are ten Sefirou then even Will is nothing more than a Sefirah, and it 
is something that is inferior to the Creator. 

The Sefer Yetrirah also warns, "ten and not eleven.*" This is to 
teach that God Himself, the Infinite Being, is not to be included 
among the Sefirot, If He were, then there would be eleven rather than 
ten r * T 

God belongs to a totally different category than ihe Sefirot, and 
is not to be counted among them. As a result, we cannot even 
describe Him by such purely abstract qualities as will T wisdom, love 
or strength. When the Bible makes use of any of these qualities in 
relation to God, it is speaking of the Sefirot created by God, and not 
of the Creator Himself, 

This is particularly important for the mystic. As a person reaches 
the highest levels, he might think that he is actually reaching God 
Himself. The Sefer Yetztrah therefore warns that when one climbs 
the ladder of the Sefirot h there are only ten steps, and not eleven. The 
Creator is always beyond our grasp. 

It is for this reason that God is called Ain Sof, literally "the Infi- 
nite." One can climb higher and higher, reaching toward infinity, but 
one can never attain it. Infinity may remain a goal, but it is only a 
goal that points to a direction, but not a goal that acually can be 
reached. The same is true of the Infinite Ain Sof 88 

Understand with Wisdom 

As discussed earlier, Understanding (Binah) involves verbal 
thought, while Wisdom {Chakhmah) is pure nonverbal thought. 
Understanding consists of the normal reverid where the person thinks 
out things so as to understand and organize the thoughts. Wisdom, on 
the other hand, h pure thought, and in particular, it refers to a state 
of consciousness where the mind is not engaged in reverie. 

It is very difficult to experience pure, nonverbal thought. As soon 
as a person attempts to clear his mind of thought, he immediately 
begins to think T "Now [ am not thinking of anything," The state of 
Wisdom or Chakhmah consciousness is one of pure nonverbal 
thought, which is very difficult to attain. 

It is in an attempt to attain the state of Chakhmah consciousness 
that the various meditative methods are used- Thus, mantra medita- 
tion attempts to clear the mind of reverie by filling it with the 
repeated words of the mantra. Similarly, contemplation pursues the 
same goal by filling the mind with the contemplated object. 

Wisdom is associated with the nonverbal right hemisphere of the 
brain, while Understanding is iissociaicd with the verbal left hemi- 
sphere. As the Kabbalists explain, Wisdom is normally only experi- 



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40 SEFER YETZIRAH 

enced when it is clothed in Understanding. One may be able to expe- 
rience the workings of the nonverbal areas of the mind, but only 
when one clothes them with verbal thoughts. 

It is here that the Sefer Yetzirah begins instruction on how \o 
grasp the Sefirot." 

The first step is to, "Understand with Wisdom, and to be wise 
with Understanding." This involves a deliberate oscillation between 
Understanding and Wisdom, between verbal Binah consciousness, 
and nonverbal Chathrnah consciousness. 

Try for a moment lo stop thinking. You remain completely con- 
scious, but there are no verbal thoughts in your mind. If you are an 
average person, you may be able to maintain such a state for a few 
seconds, but immediately your mind begins to verbalize the experi- 
ence. You might say to youself "I am not thinking of anything." But 
as soon as you do this, of course, you actually arc thinking of 
something. 

For those few seconds, however, you have experienced nonverbal 
Chakhmah consciousness. If you work at this exercise, you can gradu- 
ally learn how to extend the time in which you are in this state. It is 
like a heavy pendulum, the longer you push it back and forth, the 
further it will swing. Similarly, the more you learn to oscillate 
between verbal Binah consciousness and nonverbal Chakhmah con- 
sciousness, the deeper you will reach into the Latter, and the longer 
you will be able to maintain this state. 

Chakhmah consciousness is particularly important in reaching 
the Sefirot. As mentioned earlier (1:2), the Sefirot are ineffable, and 
cannot be understood verbally. As the Sefer Yetzirah itself says, they 
must be reached by "paths of Wisdom," that is, through the paths of 
nonverbal Chakhmah consciousness. 



Examine with them 

A similar expression is later used with regard to the lower Sefirot 
(4:5). 

Once an individual is able to experience the Sefirot, he must 
make use of them to examine and test them. The author does not say 
"examine them,'* but "examine with them." The Hebrew word used 
here is Bachart, and it means that one is to test things for their intrin- 
sic quality as they are at the immediate momenta 

When a person has an awareness of the Sefirot, he can then 
""examine" anything in creation and determine the Sefirah to which 
it pertains. As he becomes proficient in doing this, he can use various 



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Chapter One 41 

things to strengthen his attachment to their associated Sefirah. When 
the Sefer Yetzirah was first written, each individual had to do this 
on his own. Now, however, there are many Lists which associate vari- 
ous things and idea* with, their appropriate Sefirot, and these can be 
used as aids in binding oneself to them. 91 



Probe from them 

The Hebrew word for "probe" here is Chateau which usually 
indicates attaining the ultimate knowledge of a thing. 41 

The Sefer Yetzirah says that one should "probe from them.™ As 
a result of the spiritual power thai one attains from the Sefirut, one 
should probe each thing to its ultimate depth. Through one's experi- 
ence of the Sefirot, one is to gain the deepest possible insight into 
everything in the world. 

Note carefully that the Sefer Yetzirah does not tell us to contem- 
plate the Sefirot themselves. Rather, it instructs us to use them in 
developing an inner sight with which to view the world. 93 



Make [each] thing stand on its essence 

In this manner, one can learn how to perceive the essential 
nature of each lhing. M The Sefer Yetzirah says, "make each thing 
stand on its essence" so as to parallel the next phrase, "mate the Cre- 
ator sit on His base*" 

The Sefer Yetzirah is also indicating here that when a person per- 
ceives the true spiritual nature of a thing, he also elevates that thing 
spiritually. "Standing" refers to such elevation. The expression, 
""make each thing stand" therefore says that when one "probes from 
them," he elevates the things that he probes. 



Make the Creator sit on His Base 

The Hebrew word for "base 71 here is Makhon, and in a number 
of places it is seen as the place where God "sits.** Thus, in his prayer, 
Solomon speaks of "the heaven, the base (makhon) of Your sitting" 
(I Kings 8:39). The scripture likewise states, "Righteousness and 



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Table 7. The lour universes. 



Universe 


Content 


Level 


Atzilul (Nearness, 


Settrot 


Nothingness 


Emanation) 






Ben yah (Creation) 


The Throne 


Something from Nothing 


Yetzirah (Formation) 


Angels 


Something from 
Something 


Asiyah {Making 


Shade of the 


Completion 


Action) 


physical 





judgement are the base (makhon) of Your Throne" (Psalms 89:1 5). 
In other places, the Bible speaks of the Temple as being the "base" 
upon which God sits." 

The word Makhon (ruo) comes from the root Kan (ju), which 
is also the root of the word Hekhin (pin), meaning "to prepare." 9 * 
Hence, Makhon refers not merely to a physical base, but to one 
that is specifically prepared for a special purpose. The Scripture 
thus says, "He founded the earth on its base [makhon)" (Psalms 
104:5). This verse indicates that everything in the physical world 
has a spec j fie spiritual counterpart and basis, through which it can 
be elevated.^ 

In general, the anthropomorphism "sit,** when used with respect 
to God, indicates a sense of lowering.' 8 When a person sits down, he 
lowers his body. Similarly, when God "sits," He "lowers" His essence 
so as to be concerned with His creation. When the Bible speaks of 
God's Throne, it is speaking of the vehicle through which He 
expresses such concern. 

In Kabbalah, there is general rule that every "awakening from 
below" motivates an "awakening from above,** Thus, when a person 
mentally elevates each thing to its spiritual essence, he also brings 
spiritual sustenance (she/a) down to that particular object. This suste- 
nance can then be channeled and used by the individual. Under some 
conditions, this can be used to actually bring about physical changes 
in the world" 

The term Makhon is also interpreted by the Talmud to indicate 
a parallelism between the spiritual and the physical domains.' 00 The 
** prepared basis" (makhon) through which God "sits* 1 and channels 
His spiritual influence to the world is precisely this Makhon — the 
parallelism between the spiritual and the physical. This is the aspect 
through which God "sits,** and the scripture therefore speaks as the 
^base (makhon) of Your sitting." 



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Chapter One 43 

lit this context, the Sefer Yetzirah here calls God the Yotzer. We 
have translated this as "the Creator," but a more accurate rendition 
would be "the Former," or the "One who forms." 

In Hebrew, there are three words which have similar meaning. 
They are Bam* meaning u to create," Yaizar, meaning "to form," and 
Asah, meaning "to make." According to the Kabbalists, Sara indi- 
cates creation ex nihiio, "something from nothing." Yatzar denotes 
formation of something from a substance that already exists, 
"something from something," Asah has the connotation of the com- 
pletion of an action r ipi 

The Kabbalists leach that stages parallel the three supernal uni- 
verses, which are called Beriyah (Creation), Yetzirah (Formation), 
and Asiyah (Making), They are alluded to in the verse, "All that is 
called in My Name, for My Glory (Atzilut), 1 have created it 
(Beriyah), 1 have formed it (Yetzirah), and I have made it (Asiyah)" 
(Isaiah 43:7). "« 

The highest universe is Atziiut, the domain of the Setlroi them- 
selves. Below this is Beriyah, the domain of the Throne. Since 
Beriyah (Creation) is "something from nothing," Atzilut is often 
referred to as "Nothingness" {Ay in). Hence, the Sefirot, which are in 
Atzilut, are called Sefirot of Nothingness. 

Below Beriyah is the universe of Yetzirah (Formation), which is 
the world of the angels Finally, there is the universe of Asiyah (Mak- 
ing), which consists of the physical world and its spiritual shadow. 
See Table 7. 

Here, Sefer Yetzirah is speaking primarily about establishing a 
link between the two lower worlds, Yetzirah and Asiyah, The meth- 
ods of Sefer Yetzirah involve the manipulation of the forces of the 
Universe of Asiyah, and this is the reason for the name of the book. 
The text therefore speaks of God as the Yotzer, the Former, indicating 
His manifestation in the world of Yetzirah. 

From the above mentioned verse, "He founded (yasad) the earth 
on its base (Makhon)* we see that Makhon refers to a spiritual level 
that is close to the physical world, namely, the lowest level of 
Yetzirah. 103 Makhon is on the level corresponding lo Yesod (Founda- 
tion), which has the connotation of connecting and binding. Hence T 
it binds Yetzirah to Asiyah, By elevating objects in the physical 
world, one can then draw upon the forces of Yetzirah* the world of 
the angels. 

It is for this reason that the Sefer Yetzirah uses the term Makhon 
(Base) rather than Throne (Khey). The term "Throne" would indicate 
the Universe of Beriyah, which is the world of the Throne. Makhon* 
on the other hand, is a level of Yetzirah. 



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1:5 



1TD nth pxw 1E7 ]r\~in rui-hi jittsd tpv 
paun am poiy nnntt ponyi ^vki poiv 
tijjb paijn rn?a pmjr nrm poijn on paip jn 
row iSo Sk tit ihw orn poiyi jim paw 
iiv np ip wnp jiyna rf?ioa bon 



Ten Sefirot of Nothingness: 

Their measure is ten 
which have no end 
A depth of beginning 

A depth of end 
A depth of good 

A depth of evil 
A depth of above 

A depth of below 
A depth of east 

A depth of west 
A depth of north 

A depth of south 
The singular Master 

God faithful King 
dominates over them all 
from His holy dwelling 
until eternity of eternities. 



Here the Sefer Yettirah defines the five dimensional continuum 
which is the framework of its system. These five dimensions define 
len directions, two opposite directions in each dimension. See Table 
$ on page 46. 

The space continuum consists of three dimensions, up-down, 
north-south, and east- west. This continuum is defined by six direc- 
tions, and is called "Universe.** The time continuum consist* of two 
directions, past and future, or btg inning and end. This is called 
"year." Finally, there is a moral, spiritual fifth dimension, whose two 
directions are good and evil This is called "soul.** 

According to the later Kabbalists, these ten directions parallel 
the Ten Sefirot in the following manner: 

Beginning Chakhmah (Wisdom} 

End Binah (Understanding) 



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Good 


Reter (Crown) 


Evil 


Malkhui {Kingship) 


Up 


Netzach (Victory) 


Down 


Hod (Splendor) 


North 


Gevurah (Strength) 


South 


Chesed (Love) 


East 


Tiferet (Beauty) 


West 


Yesod (Foundation)"" 



45 



The Ten Sefirot are thus seen as consisting of five sets of opposite*. 
These are the "five opposite five" discussed above (1:3). The oppo- 
site* parallel the five fingers on each of the two hands. 1 * 5 

Wisdom is always defined as the beginning by the Kabbalists, 
This is based on such verses as "The beginning is Wisdom" (Proverbs 
4:7)J W This corresponds to the beginning of existence, before cre- 
ation was defined, articulated, or verbalized. 

God then created the world with ten sayings. This represents the 
power of Understanding (Binah), which is the aspect of verbal 
thought. As discussed earlier, the name ELohim, used in the account 
of creation, represents Understandings "Sayings** can only come 
about through Understanding, denoted by the name ELohim. 

Psychologically, Wisdom also represents the past in another 
manner. Memory is not verbal, but is stored in the mind in a nonver- 
bal mode, h is only when one brings a memory to the surface that it 
becomes verbalized- Since pure memory is completely nonverbal, it 
is in the category of Wisdom. 

The future, on the other hand, cannot be imagined at all t except 
in verbal terms. One can remember the past, but not the future. The 
future can only be conceived when it is described. The main way in 
which we know the future is by extrapolating from our knowledge of 
the past, or, in the language of the Talmud, ** Understanding one thing 
from another" 107 

Past and future are also the counterparts of Wisdom and Under- 
standing insofar that they are respectively male and female. The past 
is said to be male, since it directly influences the future- In this man- 
ner, it is as if the feminine future is impregnated by the past. 

Keter is said to be "good," since it is the Sefirah closest to God. 
For the same reason, Malkhut, the Sefirah furthest from God, is said 
to be evil. This does not mean that Malkhut itself is actually evil, 
since all the Sefirot are completely and absolutely good. However, 



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Table K. 


The icn directions 














Isaac 






Ari E 


Raavad 2 


the Blind* 


Ramak' 


Beginn 


ing Chakhmah 


Chakhmah 


Chakhmah 


Keter 


End 


Binah 


Binah 


Binah 


Malkhut 


Good 


Keter 


Chesed 


[Chesed] 


Chakhmah 


Evil 


Malkhut 


Gevurah 


[Malkhut] 


Binah 


Up 


Netzach 


Keter 


[Keter] 


Netzach 


Down 


Hod 


Malkhut 


Yesod 


Hod 


East 


Tiferet 


Tiferet 


Tiferet 


Tiferet 


West 


Yesod 


Yesod 


Netzach 


Yesod 


North 


Gevurah 


Netzach 


Gevurah 


Gevurah 


South 


Chesed 


Hod 


Hod 


Chesed 



1 See nole 104 in lent. 

1 Raavad, Ramban (2), Qtiar HaSftem, adioc.. Pardes Rimonim 3:4. 

'■ Yitxhak Sagt Sahor. ad toe. 

*■ Fardes kimonim 3:5 end. from Tikunty Zohur I Ja>b, 70 < 1 25a")- 

since Malkhut points in the direction away from God, it is said to 
denote the direction of evil. 

The entire array of the Sefirot is often called the "Tree of Life," 
The center line, from Keter to Malkhut, when taken alone, is called 
the "Tree of Knowledge," It is on this line that good and evil come 
together, this being the mystery of the "Tree of Knowledge of Good 
and Evil" (Genesis 2: 9), of which Adam and Eve were commanded 
not to partake. LM It is in the quasi-Sefirah of Knowledge (Daat) that 
good and evil converge. Because of this, some of the later Kabbah its 
place the "depth of good and depth of evir both in Knowledge 
{Daat).' * 

There are 32 hyperquadrants that can be defined in a five- 
dimensional hyperspace. These correspond to the 32 apexes on a five- 
dimensional hypercube, as discussed above (I: I). These in turn are 
related to the 32 paths of Wisdom, See Table 9. 

In general, a knife or cutting blade has one dimension less than 
the continuum that it cuts. In out three-dimensional continuum, a 
blade is essentially a two-dimensional plane. Therefore, in a five- 
dimensional continuum, one would expect a blade to have four 
dimensions. Such a blade would be a four-dimensional hypercube, 
having 16 apexes. The Midrash states that God's sword has 16 edges, 
indicating that it is indeed a four-dimensional hypercube. 110 



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47 



Table 9. The 32 hyperquadram 


V 






I Keter 


Chakhmah 


Chesed 


Tiferet 


Netzach 


2 Keler 


Chakhmah 


Chesed 


Tiferet 


Hod 


3 Keter 


Chakhmah 


Chesed 


Yesod 


Netzach 


4 Keter 


Chakhmah 


Chesed 


Yesod 


Hod 


5 Keler 


Chakhmah 


Gevurah 


Tiferet 


Netzach 


6 Keter 


Chakhmah 


Gevurah 


Tiferet 


Hod 


7 Keter 


Chakhmah 


Gevurah 


Yesod 


Netzach 


8 Keter 


Chakhmah 


Gevurah 


Yesod 


Hod 


9 Keter 


Binah 


Chesed 


Tiferet 


Netzach 


10 Keter 


Binah 


Chesed 


Tiferet 


Hod 


11 Keter 


Binah 


Chesed 


Yesod 


Netzach 


12 Keter 


Bmah 


Chesed 


Yesod 


Hod 


13 Keter 


Binah 


Gevurah 


Tiferet 


Netzach 


14 Keter 


Bmah 


Gevurah 


Tiferet 


Hod 


15 Keter 


Binah 


Gevurah 


Yesod 


Netzach 


16 Keter 


Binah 


Gevurah 


Yesod 


Hod 


17 Malkhut 


Chakhmah 


Chesed 


Tiferet 


Nct/ach 


IS Malkhut 


Chakhmah 


Chesed 


Tiferet 


Hod 


19 Malkhut 


Chakhmah 


Chesed 


Yesod 


Netzach 


20 Malkhut 


Chakhmah 


Chesed 


Yesod 


Hod 


21 Malkhut 


Chakhmah 


Gevurah 


Tiferet 


Netzach 


22 MaJkhut 


Chakhmah 


Gevurah 


Tiferet 


Hod 


23 MaJkhut 


Chakhmah 


Gevurah 


Yesod 


Netzach 


24 Malkhut 


Chakhmah 


Gevurah 


Yesod 


Hod 


25 Malkhut 


Binah 


Chesed 


Tiferet 


Netzach 


26 Malkhut 


Binah 


Chesed 


Tiferet 


Hod 


27 Malkhut 


Binah 


Chesed 


Yesod 


Netzach 


28 Malkhut 


Binah 


Chesed 


Yesod 


Hod 


29 Malkhut 


Binah 


Gevurah 


Tiferet 


Netzach 


30 Malkhut 


Binah 


Gevurah 


Tiferet 


Hod 


31 Malkhut 


Binah 


Gevurah 


Yesod 


Netzach 


32 Malkhut 


Binah 


Gevurah 


Yesod 


Hod 



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77reVr measure is ten* which have no end 

The Sefer Yetzirah does not say, "their number is ten," but T 
"their measure is ten." What it is saying is thai ihe Sefirot define a 
continuum often directions or five dimensions. 

Each of these directions is said to be infinite and endless. Indeed, 
in saying that "they have no end," the Sefer Yetzirah use* the term, 
*Ain (la-hem) Sof.™ This is the term usuaJJy used for God, the Infinite 
Being. Each direction extends without limit, and in this respect, the 
Sefirot share a property with the Infinite Being. 111 

The initiate is here given an allegory through which he or she 
can perceive his or her path to the Infinite Being, The allegory con- 
sists of any of the directions. Thus, for example, "up" has no end- 
One can continue to travel in an upward direction, but can never 
actually reach "up.** The same is tnie when one travels "up" 
spiritually. 



A depth of beginning 

The Sefer Yetzirah does not speak of directions, but of depths. 
In general, the concept of depth indicates something at a great dis- 
tance, as when one looks down a deep well, gazing at its "depth." It 
therefore denotes great distance, both physical and mental. There- 
fore, an idea that is difficult to understand, and far from one's com- 
prehension, is also said to be deep. 

There are many examples of this in scripture . We thus find. "The 
heavens for height, the earth for depth, and the heart of kings has no 
probing" (Proverbs 25:3). Regarding Wisdom, Kohelet likewise said, 
"It is deep h deep, who can find it" {Ecclesiastes 7:24). In particular, 
the word "depth" 1 is used in relation to the Divine, as in, "How great 
are your works, O God, Your thoughts are very deep" (Psalms 92:6). 
These ten depths therefore represent the ten directions extended to 
infinity. 

It is written. "Counsel in man's heart is like deep water, but a 
man of understanding will draw it out" (Proverbs 20:5). Although the 
depth of these directions is infinite, it can be described mentally. The 
first technique involves verbal thought, through being "a man of 
Understanding " Gradually, then, one can also learn to depict these 
infinite depths non verbally. 

The first exercise is to try to depict the "depth of beginning," 
Attempt to picture an infinity of lime in the past. Let the mind travel 
back to a minute ago, and hour ago, a day ago, a year ago, continuing 
until you Teach a level where you are trying to imagine an infinity 
ago. Then do the same with regard to the future. 



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Chapter One 49 

The next exercise involves trying to imagine infinite good and 
infinite evil. The limits are pure ideas, which cannot be verbalized. 

Finally, one must imagine the limits of the spacial dimensions. 
One must perceive the height of the sky and beyond the sky, the 
depth of the earth and beyond the earth. 1 cl 

In this manner, one graduall> trains the mind to depict the infi- 
nite. Since the Sefirot themselves are also infinite, this exercise can 
help one attain communion with the Sefirot J 13 

The individual can then learn how to climb the Tree of the 
Sefirot, and eventually approach the loftiest spiritual heights. This 
is accomplished through these depths. It is written, "A song of 
steps, from the depths I call You O God" (Psalms 1 30: 1). One calls 
out to God by meditating on the depths, and then one can ascend 
through a series of steps. The psalm is therefore called "a song of 
steps." 114 



The singular Master 

This can also be read, "The Master is singular," and a similar 
expression is found below (1:7), 

After describing the five dimensional continuum defined by the 
Sefirot, the Sefer Yetzirah specifically refers to God as the ^singular 
Master." The Hebrew for "singular* 1 here is Yachid* indicating a com- 
plete and absolute unity. 

The unity of God is absolute. He is not Like a person who consists 
of many parts. He is not even like the most simple physical object, 
since even such an object has three dimensions. To say that God is 
bound by dimensions would in itself introduce an element of plural- 
ity in His essence, and this is excluded. 

After the Sefer Yetzirah has defined the five-dimensional contin- 
uum, one might be misled to think that God Himself is a five- 
dimensional being. The text therefore stresses His unity at this point. 
The concept of dimensionality does not apply to God at all. 



God faithful King 

In Hebrew, this is EI Meiekk Ne'eman (pto iSo hn) r The initial 
Letters of this phrase spell out Amen (jok), and according to the Tal- 
mud, it is this phrase that defines the word Amen. [l! 

The statement here that God is ^faithful" means that He is acces- 
sible only through faith. The human intellect can only grasp concepts 



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» SEFER VETZIRAH 

within the five-dimensional continuum of space- time-spirit . God, the 
Infinite Being, however, is beyond this. He may relate to the universe 
as "King," but He Himself is above the grasp of our mentality. 



Dominates them all 

The Hebrew word for "dominate" here is Moskei. There are two 
synonyms that indicate dominance — Melekh and Moshet. A Melekh 
is a king who interacts with his subjects, and is therefore affected by 
them, A Moshei, on the other hand, is a tyrant and dictator, who 
rules, but is in no way influenced by his subordinates. M * 

God is sometimes called a Melekh, but this refers only to His 
actions through Malkhut (Kingship), the lowest of the Sefirot. The 
In finite Being, however is actually a Moshel^ an absolute ruler who 
is in no way affected by His creation. The scripture thus says, "If 
you are righteous, what do you give Him? What does He receive 
from your hand" (Job 35:7). 1|T This is particularly true of God's 
relationship to the Sefirot, He is in no way affected or defined by 
them. 



From His holy habitation 

The Hebrew word for "habitation" here is Ma'on (pyo). The 
expression "Holy habitation 4 ' {Ma'on Kadosh) occurs a number of 
times in the Bible, M * It is also used again below (1:12). 

The word Ma'on is defined by the verse, **0 God t You have been 
a habitation [ma'on) for us" (Psalms 90:1). The Mid rash interprets 
this to indicate that "God is the habitation of the world, and the 
world is not His habitation." 119 God is the "place" of the world, defin- 
ing the space-time-spirit continuum, and He is not defined by any 
continuum whatever The continuum is contained in God, as it were, 
and He is not contained in the continuum. 

The word Ma'on is very closely related to the word Makom 
(□ips), meaning ^place," Makom comes from the root Kom (Dip), 
meaning "to stand." Hence, Makom denotes a place in physical 
space, where something can u stand," Ma'on (ffo) t on the other handL 
comes from the same root as OnaH (tuij?). meaning a **time" or 
"period" Just as Mak&m defines a point in space, so Ma'on defines 
a point in the space-time continuum. ]2ri 

Thus, when the Sefer Yetzirah says that God dominates the 
Sefirot from His "Holy MaotC it is indicating that He is the "place" 
and "habitation** of the five-dimensional continuum. Not only does 



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Chapter One 51 

God circumscribe the universe of space, bui He even defines time 
and spirit. This is said to be "holy," and as discussed above (]; 1), the 
word "holy** {Kadosft) denotes separation from the mundane. The 
Infinite Being is separated from all the Sefirot, and in relation to 
Him, even the Sefirot are mundane. 



Until eternity of eternities 

In Hebrew, this is Adey Ad (iy 'tjt), and this expression occurs 
numerous times in the Bible. '*' 

There are two synonyms which denote eternity. The first is 
LeOlam, usually translated as "forever," which indicates the end 
point of the time continuum. Often used is the expression LeOlam 
VaEd{-r$\ dryh), which means "forever and eternity." The expression 
"eternity," here denotes the realm outside the time continuum + where 
the concept of time does not exist at all- 
Even in such a timeless domain, however, there is still a kind of 
hypertime, where events can occur in a logical sequence. The Mid- 
rash calls such hypertime, the "order of time" {seder zemanim)* 21 
The expression "eternity of eternities" {Adey Ad) denotes a domain 
that is beyond even such hypenime. 



1:6 



ymi Kiy-u jrg ran fp urh p« [ji^m 

tD'TIJllFB UT\ WQ3 '3D 1 ?! IDVIT HSIM riOttQ 1 ?! 



Ten Sefiroi of Nothingness 

Their vision is like the "appearance of lightning" 

Their limit has no end 
And His Word in them is "running and returning" 
They rush to His saying like a whirlwind 

And before His throne they prostrate themselves. 



Their vision 

The word for "vision* 1 here is Tzaftyah^ which usually denotes a 
prophetical or mystical vision. The Hekhalot, an ancient mystical 
text which might be contemporary to Sefer Yetzinah, speaks of the 
"vision {tzafiyah) of the Markava-" 1 " The Markava is the divine 



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32 SEFEK VETZIRAH 

Chariot seen in Ezekiel % s virion, and the term is used to denote the 
mystical experience on its highest levels. 

The Sefcr Yclzirah is now describing how the Sefirot appear 
in a mystical vision. In earlier sections, the text spoke of the exer- 
cises used to visualize the Sefirot, and now it describes their 
appearance, 

The Bah if, another very ancient text, explains that The word 
Tzafiyah, derived from the root TzafaK indicates that one is looking 
down from a high place. 1 -* In the previous section, the Sefer Yetzirah 
spoke of the Sefirot as ten "depths." When one looks into a depth, 
however, one is usually looking downward. In the Hekhalot, the mys- 
tical experience is often described as a descent in a downward direc- 
tion, and it is called "descending to the Markava." 151 

One reason why gazing at the Sefirot is called a "descent" is 
because, in order to accomplish thts t one must first attain Chakhmah 
consciousness, as discussed earlier. In the array of the Sefirot, how- 
ever Chakhmah is the highest, at least of those which are approacha- 
ble. In climbing the Tree of the 32 paths of Wisdom, one must begin 
by attaching himself to Chakhmah (Wisdom), When this is accom- 
plished,, one then looks down at the other Sefirot, Only then does one 
begin climbing the Sefirot, beginning at the lowest. 

Like the appearance of lightning 

This is taken from the verse, "And the Chayot, running and 
returning, like the appearance of Lightning {bazak )** (Ezekie) 1 :14). 

The word Bazak, which is found only in this one place in the 
Bible, is usually translated as "lightning" or ta a spark "'-** According 
to other interpretations, Bazak denotes a flashing meteor or a burst- 
ing bubble, 1 - 7 According to all these opinions, the Sefer Yetzirah is 
stating that the Sefirot can only be visualized for an instant, and then 
they vanish. 

The great Kabbalist. Rabbi Moshe de Leon {1 238-1305), best 
known as the publisher or the Zohar> offers an interesting analogy, 121 
When the Sefirot are seen in a mystical vision, their appearance is 
like sunlight reflected on a wall from a bowl of water. As long as the 
bowl is absolutely stilL the reflected image is clear, but the slightest 
vibration causes it to break up and oscillate wildly. 

Similarly, a clear vision of the Sefirot would be possible in the- 
ory, but only if the mind were absolutely still and calm. The slightest 
exterior thought, however, destroys the image completely. When the 
mind is in a stale where it can visualize the Sefirot. it is disturbed 
by the most minute distractions. 



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Chapter One S3 

Their limit has no end 

This is obviously derived from the verse, "For every limit I 
have seen an end. Your commandment is very broad" (Psalms 
119:96), 

The Hebrew word for "limit" here is Takhlit (rr'ran), which also 
means "completion" and "ultimate." 12 * It is derived from the root 
Kalah (nfri) y meaning to "complete* or ^finish," as in "the heaven 
and earth were finished {kalahf (Genesis 2:1), The word Takhlit also 
denotes purpose* since when something fulfills its purpose it is said 
to be completed and fulfilled 

The expression, "their limit has no end {ketz)r can be compared 
to the earlier expression, "their measure, . . has no end {soft" <1:5). 
Both words, Ketz and Sof denote an end, but the shade of meaning 
is somewhat different. 

The word Sof (fa) is derived from the root Safah (nsc), meaning 
"to cease to exist," The term Ketz (fp), on the other hand, comes from 
Katzaxz (pip), meaning "to cut o(T r *' 3M Hence, the end implied by Sof 
is where something ceases to exist, while Ketz implies the point where 
it is "cut ofT," that is, its extreme boundary or limit. As one authority 
puts it, Sofh the end in relation to that which follows it, and Ketz is 
the end with regard to that which precedes it. ]JI 

When the Sefer Yetzirah spoke earlier of the Sefirol as exten- 
sions, the text says that they have no Sof This indicates that there is 
no place where they cease to exist, no matter how far out one goes. 
This is the infinity of extension. Similarly, when God is called Ain 
Sof, literally "without Sof m it also means that there is no place where 
He ceases to exist, 1 * 2 

Here, on the other hand, the Sefer Yet2irah is speaking of the 
Seftrot as they are seen in a mystical vision. The text then says that 
their purpose, completion and outcome have no limit [ketz). Even 
though the Sefirot are seen only as a flash, there is no limit to the 
insight that they can imbue to the individual. 



His word in them is "running and returning" 

This also alludes to the verse, "And the Chayot running and 
returning, like the appearance of lightning ** {Ezekiel 1:14). It is dis- 
cussed again later (1:8). 



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54 SEFER VETZIRAH 

The phrase "His word"* is Devaro (rai). Others, however, voca- 
lize this Dabru (toi), which means "they speak." This line then reads, 
"They speak of them as running and returning," 1 " 

This teaches that one cannot focus for any length of time on 
any of the Sefirot. The mind can concentrate and see them as a 
"flash oflightning," but only for an instant. Then one must return. 
One oscillates between "running" and "returning," peeking for an 
instant, and then immediately returning to one's normal mental 
state. 1 * 

The Kabbalists note that "running" denotes Chakhmah, while 
"returning" implies Binah, fJS 

As discussed earlier one can only visualise the Sefirot with 
Chakhmah consciousness, through the nonverbal part of the mind. 
Such Chakhmah consciousness is very difficult to maintain, since the 
mind normally functions in a state of verbal Bmah consciousness. As 
mentioned earlier ( 1 A), the only way to attain Chakhmah conscious- 
ness is to swing back and forth between Chakhmah and Bmah, It is 
only during the instant of pure Chakhmah consciousness that the 
Sefirot can be perceived. 

In Hebrew, the word "run" is usually Rutz (pri). Here, however, 
the commentaries note that the root of the word is Ratza («n), and 
this is apparently the only place in the entire Bible where this root is 
founds According to the Midrash, this root is related both to Rutz, 
"to run T " and to Ratzah (m), meaning to "will" or "desire." ' 37 The 
word Ratza (ton) therefore has the implication of "running with one's 
will," or impelling the will to concentrate on something beyond its 
grasp. This indicates the mental effort through which the Sefirot are 
visualized. 

The Sefer Yetzirah relates "running and returning" to speech. 
Speech exists only in relation to Binah consciousness, since this is 
the verbal part of the mind. As Jong as a person is normally in a state 
of Binah consciousness, he can only visualize the Sefirot as a flash, 
"running and returning.'" 



They rush to His saying like a whirlwind 

The Sefer Yetzirah says that God's "speech in them runs and 
returns." God's speech can be visualized through the Sefirot, but it 
"runs and returns." 

"Speech" (Davar) refers to the general concept, while a "saying" 
{Ma'amar) denotes a particular statement. It is only with regard to 



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Chapter One 55 

the generic "speech" that the Sefirot oscillate, "running and return 
ing ™ But when there is a Afa'amar, a specific saying or edict, they 
no longer oscillate, but rush "like a whirlwind.** 

According 10 the reading, "*His speech in them runs and returns," 
this entire section is speaking of the Sefirot, One normally sees the 
Sefirot "running and returning, n like flashes of lightning. But when a 
particular edict from God is present, they no longer oscillate, but pur- 
sue it "like a whirlwind." 

According to the commentaries who interpret this line as "they 
speak of them running and returning" the entire text is speaking of 
''they," namely the masters and prophets. Although they normally 
only visualize the Sefirot "running and returning, " when a specific 
edict from God was heard, they would pursue it Like 3 whirlwind, 
going far heyond their normal bounds. 

The Hebrew word for whirl wind here is Sufah, a term that occurs 
many times in the Bible. 11 * The word Sufah {tebkd) comes from the 
root Safah (noo) T meaning "to annihilate." Thus, according to many 
commentaries, it is the most powerful and destructive wind possi- 
ble. 139 It is also related to the word Sof (fpp) T meaning a limit or 
boundary. As one authority explains, a Sufah is a wind that exceeds 
the normal bounds of natural weather. ,4ft 

This teaches that when there is an edict from God, the mystic 
can go far beyond 1 he normal bounds to pursue it. The fact (hat he 
is pursuing a divine "saying" allows him to have access to much 
higher states of consciousness than the normally can attain. 

It is for this reason that many mystics would engage in medita- 
tions related to the observance of various commandments. They were 
making use of God's "saying" and edict, and in this manner, were 
able to reach much higher levels than usual. The divine "saying" asso- 
ciated with the commandment would also serve to attract the Sefirot 
and make them more accessible. 

There are two types of storm wind, a Sa'arah and a Sufah, 1 * 1 A 
Sa 'arah is a wind that merely agitates (Sa'ar), while a Sufah is a hurri- 
cane that sweeps away everything in its path, 142 

At thy beginning of the mystical experience, Ezekiel says that he 
saw a "storm wind (saarah) coming from the north" i Ezekiel 1:4). 
According to some commentaries, this refers to the agitation of the 
mind when one enters the transcendental realm. 14 ' 

The vehicle through which one rises and enters the mystical 
realm is called a Markava (chariot), and the art of engaging in this 
practice is called "working in the Chariot" (Ma'aseh Markaya)^ 4 * It 
is therefore highly significant that the scripture states, "His Chariot 
(markava) is like a whirlwind {sufahT (Isaiah 66: 15)J 4S This indicates 



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54 SEFER YETZIRAH 

thai The Su/ah wind acts like a Chariot, conveying one into the mysti 
cal realm. It is a force that carries one beyond the normal limit (jo/) 
into the transcendental- 

Saadia Gaon interprets Sufah to denote the dust devils that one 
sees in small whirlwinds, where the dust assumes many shapes and 
forms. These forms constantly change, and a distinct form lasts only 
for a moment. Similarly, when one visualizes the Sefirot, one can see 
them in many forms, but like sand devils, they last only for an 
instant, and then dissolve. 



Before His Throne they prostrate themselves 

As discussed earlier (1:4), when we speak of God as "sitting," it 
means that He is lowering His essence so as to be concerned with His 
creation. His Throne is the object upon which He sits, and hence, it 
denotes the vehicle of such lowering and concern. 

While "silting*' is a lowering that one does on one's own initia- 
tive, prostrating oneself and bowing is a lowering that one does 
because of a higher power. The tools of God's concern are the Sefirot, 
since it is through them that He directs the universe. As a result of 
the concept of God's Throne, the Sefirot must also lower their 
essence and interact with the lower world. The Sefer Yetzirah there- 
fore says, "before His Throne they prostrate themselves," 

The universe of the Sefirot is called AtziluL Below it is Beriyah, 
the world of the Throne, As Ezekiel describes it, ** Above the firma- 
ment that was over their heads was the likeness of a Throne, . . and 
upon ihe likeness of the Throne, was a likeness of the appearance of 
a Man" (Ezekiel 1:26). The Throne is in the universe of Beriyah, 
while the "Man" on the Throne represents the anthropomorphic 
array of the Sefirot in Alzilut. 

The highest universe that can actually be visualized is Yetzirah T 
the world of the angels. In this world, one can visualize a reflection 
of the Throne, and hence, Ezekiel said that he saw "the likeness of a 
Throne," One can also see a "reflection of a reflection" of the Sefirot, 
and he therefore saw, "the likeness of the appearance of a Man," 

When the Sefer Yetzirah says that the Sefirot "prostrate them- 
selves," he is indicating that they are reflected in the lower universes. 
Since they prostrate themselves before God^s Throne, which is in 
Beriyah, they are even visible in Yetzirah. It is in the universe of 
Yen i rah that a reflection of the Sefirot is visualized. 



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Chapter One J7 



1:7 



\rhnTV\ \rhr\r\i jsid piyj no^n hitsd top 
I*e*i -prr* jm^ n^n mwp nanWi jsim 



Ten Sefirot of Nothingness 

Their end is imbedded in their beginning 
and their beginning in their end 
like a flame in a burning coal 

For the Master is singular 
Me has no second 

And before One, what do you count? 



Their end is imbedded in their beginning 

According to most commentaries 1 the ^beginning" is Keter 
(Crown), while the "end* is Malkhut (Kingship), These are the two 
end points of the spiritual dimension. 

In the most basic level, Keter is seen as the concept of Cause, 
while Malkhut is the archetype of Effect. Since a cause cannot exist 
without an effect, and an effect cannot exist without a cause, the two 
are interdependent on each other. 

The Sefer Yetzirah Likens this lo a "flame bound to a burning 
coal." A flame cannot exist without the coal, and the burning coal 
cannot exist without the flame. Although the coal is the cause of the 
flame, the flame is also the cause of the burning coal. Without the 
flame, it would not be a burning coaL 

Since Cause cannot exist without Effect, Effect is also the cause 
of Cause, In this sense. Effect is the cause, and Cause is the effect. 
Since beginning and end are inseparable, "their end is imbedded in 
their beginning, and their beginning in their end," 

Thus, even though Keter is Cause and Malkhut is Effect, there 
is also a sense in which Malkhut is the cause of Keter, Often in 
Kabbalah, where such a situation exists, Keter is seen as existing on 
a lower level than Malkhut. Thus T for example, Keter of Beriyah is 
below Malkhut of Atzilul, and Keter of Yetzirah is below Malkhut 
of Beriyah, 

As discussed earlier, there is no term that can be used to describe 
God. God Himself cannot even be called the Cause, 14 * A cause is to 
some degree dependent on its effect, and God cannot be dependent 
on anything. The Kabbalists therefore teach that before creating any- 



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51 SEFER YETZJRAH 

N 




Figure 10. A circle with O and N us two urttiptjilal point*. 

thing else, God created the concept of "Cause. ** This is the Sefirah 
of Keter (Crown), Keter is also often identified with Will. This, how* 
ever, is an anthropomorphism, since in man, will is the cause of all 
action. l-rr 

The Sefer Yelzirah therefore states that "the Master is singular, 
He has no second.** The Sefirot may be interdependent, but this does 
not include the Infinite Being. Since God is absolutely unitary, He 
cannot even be called the Cause, since this would imply an effect as 
a "second." 

When we view the Sefirot as being ten directions in a five- 
dimensional continuum, we can also interpret this in another man- 
ner. Every pair of Sefirot defines an infinite line, extended infinitely 
in both directions. The end points of such an infinite line, however, 
come together and meet once again at the "point at infinity." This is 
a fact recognized by mathematicians, and considerable use of the 
"point at infinity** is found in complex analysis, the calculus of com- 
pLe& numbers. 

Although this is a highly abstract concept, it is not that difficult 
to understand. Imagine a circle, with two antipodal points, O and N. 
Obviously, two lines extending outward from O will once again come 
together at point N. But then what happens if we make the circle infi- 
nitely large? The larger the circle, the closer the curve approaches a 
straight line. In the limit where the circle becomes infinitely large* 
the lines extending outward from point O actually become straight. 
But stilL they come together at point AT. This point at infinity is where 
all endpoims meei. l+l See figure 10. 

In our three-dimensional continuum, we can likewise extend all 
lines outward infinitely. The end points of all these lines would then 
be an infinite sphere surrounding all space. However, each opposing 
pair of lines would meet at the point at infinity, and therefore, all 
outgoing lines must meet at this point, Mg 



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Chapter One 59 

Thus, in one sense, the entire three-dimensional space contin- 
uum can be seen as surrounded by an infinite sphere. In another 
sense, however, this entire infinite sphere can also be represented by 
a singJe point — the point at infinity, A point, however, is infinitely 
small- Thus* the point at infinity can be seen as being both infinitely 
Large and infinitely small at the same time. 

The same argument can easily be extended to the five- 
dimensional hyperspace discussed in Sefer Yetzirah. 

Thus, if every pair of Sefi rot defines an infinite line, the begin- 
ning of each line is "imbedded" in its end. This is true of all the 
Sefirot. All opposite*, in their extreme case, become joined as one. 

One can use this as a meditation. Try to imagine the sphere at 
infinity and the point at infinity, and attempt to perceive how they 
are actually one. You will then see that your usual conception of 
space and extension are not as simple as you believe. 

In particular; this is true of the Keter-Malkhut line. In the direc- 
tion of Keter, this line extends infinitely toward God, the ultimate 
Good. In the Malkhut direction, it extends infinitely away from God, 
toward ultimate evih These two end points can also be viewed as the 
ultimately spiritual and the ultimately physical* In this sense, we 
must therefore say that the ultimately physical and the ultimately 
spiritual are "imbedded" in each other. 

In order to understand this more deeply, we must first ask some 
questions. The most basic question is: Why did God create a physical 
world? God created the universe to bestow good to His creation, but 
this good is purely spiritual This being true, what need is there for 
a physical world? Before we can answer this question, we must first 
ask another question. What is the difference between the material 
and the spiritual? 

We speak of the material and the spiritual as two different con- 
cepts. We know that the spiritual is not material. But precisely what 
is the difference? The answer should be obvious. The main difference 
between the material and spiritual involves space- Physical space 
only exists in the physical world. In the spiritual, there is no space 
as we know it. 

Although concepts of distance and closeness exist in the spiritual 
realm, they do not have the same meaning as they do in the physical 
world. In a spiritual sense, closeness involves resemblance* Two 
things that resemble each other are said to be spiritually close. Two 
things that differ, on the other hand, are far apart in a spiritual 
sense. 

This has very important implications. In the spiritual world, it 
is utterly impossible to bring two opposite* together. Because they 
are opposite, they are by definition, poles apart. 



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60 SEFER YETZIRAH 

Thus, for example, God and man are worlds apart— "as the heav- 
ens arc higher than the earth." On a purely spiritual plane, it would 
be totally impossible for the two ever to be brought together. It was 
for this reason that Cod created the concept of space. Spiritual things 
can be bound to the material, just as, for example, the soul is bound 
to the body. 

Two opposiies can then be brought together by being bound to 
physical objects. In the physical world, space exists, and two oppo- 
site* can literally be pushed together. Furthermore, two spiritual 
opposiies can even be bound to the same material object. ' *° 

Thus, for example, man has both an urge for good and an urge 
for evil, the Ycizer Tov, and the Yetzer HaRa, In a purely spiritual 
sense, these are poles apart. Without a physical world, they could 
never be brought together in a single entity. 

The archetype of the spiritual being is the angeh Since an angel 
has no body, it can never contain both good and evil in its being. 
Our sages therefore teach us that angels have no Yetzer HaRa. lii 

It is only in a physical being that both good and evil can exist 
together. Although they arc at opposite poles spiritually, they can 
come together in the physical man. One reason why God created man 
in a physical world was to allow him to have full freedom of choice, 
with both good and evil as part of his makeup. Without a physical 
world, these two concepts could never exist in the same being. '^ 

The fact that good and evil can exist in the same physical space 
also allows good to overcome evil in this world. Here again, this is 
only possible in a physical world. Jn a purely spiritual arena, good 
could never come close enough to evil to have any influence over it. 
In the physical world, however, good and evil can exist together, and 
good can therefore overcome evil. Our sages thus teach us that one 
of the main reasons why man was placed in the physical world was 
to overcome the forces of eviJ, JJi The Zohar expresses it by stating 
that we arc here "to turn darkness into light ,**■** 

The entire concept of the non physical is very difficult to compre- 
hend, and may be clarified by a remarkable teaching of our sages. 
The Mid rash tells us, "One angel cannot have two missions. Neither 
can two angels share the same mission." 1 * 3 

This teaching brings our entire discussion into focus. The angel 
is the archetype of the nonphysical being. When we speak of an angel 
we are speaking of an entity that exists purely on a spiritual plane. 
Angels can be differentiated only by their mission, that is, by their 
involvement and attachment to some physical thing. 

Two angels therefore cannot share the same mission. It i$ only 
their different missions that make the two angels different entities. 
They cannot be separated by space like physical objects. |S * Therefore, 



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Chapter One 61 

if they both had the same mission, there would be nothing to differ- 
entiate them, and they would be one. Similarly, one angel cannot 
have two missions. On a purely spiritual plane, two different con- 
cepts cannot exist in a single entity. If an angel had two missions* 
then it would be two angels. 

We can also understand this in terms of the human mind. In a 
sense, the mind is a pure spiritual entity, bound to man's physical 
brain. Many thoughts and memories may be bound together by man's 
physical brain, but the mind can only focus on one of them at a time. 
In simple terms, a person can only think of one thing at a time, A 
thought is a spiritual entity, and as such, can only contain a single 
concept. Since both a thought and an angel are basic spiritual entities, 
this is very closely related to the fact that an angel can only have a 
single mission, IJT 

For a similar reason, angels have no way of knowing anything 
that does not pertain to their particular mission. An angel may he 
created initially with a vast storehouse of knowledge, but it has no 
way of increasing it, at least, not beyond its own sphere of activity. 
Thus, for example, we find one angel asking another a question; "And 
one [angel] said to the Man dressed in linen. . . 'How long shall it be 
until the end of these wonders*" (Daniel 12:6)7 One angel had to ask 
the other, because he himself could not know something outside of 
his own domain. y51 

In the physical world, we can learn things through our five 
senses. We can hear, feeL smell and taste. Our knowlege of things 
comes from our physical proximity to them. In the spiritual worlds, 
however, this does not exist- The only way that one can learn about 
a thing is to come into spiritual proximity with it. An angel cannot 
do this outside of his own realm. 

Man therefore has an advantage over an angel The very fact that 
he exists in this lower world enables him to reach up ever higher. 

There are concepts of good decreed by God, and as His decrees^ 
they are intimately bound to Him. When a man physically involves 
himself with these good concepts, he literally binds himself to God. 
He thus achieves a closeness that no angel could ever hope to 
reach. 1 " 

This is a major difference between a man and an angel. An angel 
is assigned to ont spiritual siaiion, and has no way 10 rise an> higher. 
Thus, when the prophet speaks of angels, he says. "Around Him. the 
seraphim stood" (Isaiah 6:2). Angels are described as standing and 
stationary. But when God speaks to man, He tells him, u If you walk 
in My ways. . * then I will give you a place to move among those who 
stand here" (Zechariah 3:7). God was showing the prophet J vision 
of stationary angels, and idling him that he would be able to move 



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62 SFFER YETZIRAH 

Tabic 10 Unihcalion ol the Sefirot. 



1 


Apex 


of Yud 


Keter 


* 


Vud 




Chakhmah 


n 


Heh 




Binah 


n 


Vav 




Chesed, Gevurah T Tiferet, 
Netzach, Hod, Yesod 


n 


Heh 




Malkhut 



among theim Man can move from level to Level, but angels are bound 
to their particular plane. IM 

There are many levels in the spiritual world. If only the spiritual 
would exist, there would be no way for these to come together. The 
only thing that can possibly unify these levels is their relationship to 
the physical world. 

In order to reach the highest levels of holiness, man must there- 
fore become part of the physical world. When he obeys God's com- 
mandments, he attaches himself to the same physical objects as the 
One who gave the commandments. In obeying these commandments, 
man therefore attaches himself to God to the greatest possible degree. 
He is thus able to scale the highest spiritual heights. 

This is the symbolism of Jacobs dream in which he saw b "A ladder 
standing on earth, whose top reached the heavens** (Genesis 28:12). It 
is only through earthly deeds that we can climb the loftiest heights, The 
different levels of the spiritual world, the rungs of the "ladder," can only 
be bound together when they are "standing on the earth." 1 * 1 

The Sefirot are not physical, and do not appear to be attached 
to any physical concept. Since they represent different concepts and 
levels, the question then arises: How can they interact? Obviously, 
the only possible way is through some relationship with the physical 
world. It is only when two different Sefirot come together and inter- 
act with the same physical object that they can also interact with each 
other. The KabbalLsts therefore engage in many physical activities 
with the primary intent of "unifying the Sefirot." 

Another way in which the Sefirot are unified is through the 
Divine Names. This is especially true of the Tetragraromaton, 
YHVH (ma*}. According to the ICabbalists, the apex of the Yud (*) 
represents Keter. the Yud itself, Chakhmah, the initial Heh (rr) T 
Binah, the Vav (i), which has a numerical value of six T the next six 
Sefirot, and the final Heh T Malkhut, See Table 10. 

The very fact that this Name can be written on a physical piece 
of paper, where the letters representing the Sefirot are brought 
together, serves to unify the Sefirot. Each Scfirah is associated with 



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Chapter Orte 63 

a tetter, and when these Letters are physically brought together, the 
Sefirot can also interact. Specific interactions invoking ihe Sefirot 
can also be brought about when various names are combined. The 
same is also true of other Kabbalistic diagrams and representations 
of the Sefirot. 

Even though the Sefirot were created before the physical world* 
they exist in a domain that is above time, where past, present and 
future are one. The very fact that they would have physical counter- 
parts in the future provided them with a link with the physical world. 
Since God willed that at some future time, the Letters of the Name 
would be able to be represented by physical forms and be written on 
a physical medium, they had an association with the physical even 
before it was created. This allowed the Sefirot to interact, even before 
the creation of the physical universe, 1 " 

The same is true of the other Letters of the alphabet. Although 
the letters are best known as they are written down physically, they 
actually also represent spiritual forces. Through various combina- 
tions of the letters, the spiritual forces associated with them are 
brought together in various effective combinations. These spiritual 
forces are the "letters with which heaven and earth were created " 

From all this, we see that there is an important link between the 
physical and the spiritual. Even Keter, the highest of the Sefirot, has 
a physical representation in the apex of the Yud of the Divine 
Name, 

This is also realted to our earlier discussion of cause and effect. 
The highest level of Keter is the ultimate cause, while the physical 
world is the ultimate effect. 



Like aflame in a burning coal 

In describing the relationship between the physical and the spir- 
itual, the Zohar uses an expression very similar to that used here. 
The Zohar states: "If one wishes to know the wisdom of the holy uni- 
fication, let him Look at the flame rising from a burning coal or from 
a kindled lamp. The flame cannot rise unless it is unified with some- 
thing physical" 1 " 

From the context, it is evident that the Zohar is speaking of the 
different parts of the flame. The only way in which the flame can rise 
is for all of these parts to come together. This is only possible when 
the flame is attached to the physical coal or wick. In a similar man- 
ner, all the spiritual levels cannot function or interact unless they are 
bound to the physical. 



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64 SEFER YETZIRAH 

The Sefer Yetzirah therefore slates that "their end is imbedded 
in their beginning, . , like a flame in a burning coal," The only way 
in which the end and beginning can interact is because both are 
bound to related physical concepts. 

This can also be used as a meditation. IH The wick itself repre- 
sents the physical world, while the blue flame nearest to the wick is 
the counterpart of Maikhul. 1 " Surrounding this is the bright yellow 
Hame, corresponding to the next six Sefirot: Chesed t Gevurah, 
Tiferet, Netzach, Hod and Yesod, Above this is the barely visible 
exterior flame, the hottest part of all, paralleling Binah, Then comes 
the light radiating from the candle, which is Chakhmah. Finally, 
there is the concept of flame itself, and this corresponds to Ke*ei\ 

AM of these pans are unified only through the wick. By contem- 
plating a flame in this manner, one can bind himself to the Ten 
Sefirot. 

It is for this reason that the Sefer Yetzirah states that the Ten 
SefiTot parallel the ten directions. Even though the Sefirot are purely 
spiritual, the very fact that they are associated with the physical 
directions serves to unify them. Then, as it were t the point at infinity 
in the five-dimensional hyperspace would represent the unapproach- 
able Infinite. 

The great Kabbah st N Rabbi Abraham AbuJafia, notes that the 
Hebrew word for "coal," Gachelet (nforu), has a numerical value of 
441. This is the same as the value of Emet (JiO«)* meaning "truth,™ 1 ** 
It is Truth that binds all opposites together. This is indicated by the 
word itself. The word Emet begins with an Alef (*)> the first letter of 
the alphabet, and ends with a Tav (71) , the last letter. Thus, the "end 
is imbedded in the beginning. " This is accomplished through the 
Mem (□), the middle letter of the alphabet. 

Another master Kabbalist. Rabbi Joseph Gikatalia (1248-1323), 
points out that Alef and Tav are also the first letters of the word Atah 
(inn), meaning "Thou." The Heh (n) at the end of this word, which 
has a numercial value of five, represents Binah* as expressed in the 
five books of the Torah + and in the five phonetic families of the 
alphabet. 1 * 7 In order to address God as "Thou^ we must first "imbed 
the beginning < Alef) in the end (Tav)," Only then can we address Him 
through the letters of the Torah, represented by the Heh. 



For the Master is Singular 

Besides being brought together by their association with the 
physical world, the Sefirot are also unified by God Himself In his 



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Chapter One 65 

prayer, Elijah thus says regarding the Sefirot, "You bind them, and 
You unify them."'** 

When the Ten Sefirot are represented as the ten directions, the 
physical can be taken as the zero point, from which they alt emanate. 
God, as it were, can be said to parallel the point at infinity, where 
they all converge. Of course + God has no representation whatever, 
but this is the closest that the human mind can come to imagining a 
representation. By contemplating the point at infinity, one can 
approach a conception of the Infinite Being, 

This point at infinity is both infinitely large and infinitely 
small, 1 1 does not have any defined place in the continuum of 
space, time* or the spiritual. It has neither shape nor form, yet, at 
the same time, it is defined as a single, unitary, undifferentiated 
point. All of this is also true of God. Of course, God is much more 
than this. 

In describing God here T the Sefer Yetzirah does not say that 
He is one (EchadV but that He is singular (YachidV It is saying 
lhat God is so absolutely singular that there is no quality whatever 
thai can be attributed to Him. As the philosophers state, we cannot 
describe God with any quality or adjeciivc whatever, only with 
negative attributes or attributes of action. 144 Although we cannot 
say what God is, by using negative attributes, we can say what He 
is not. Similarly, with attributes of action, we can speak of what 
God does. 

This also implies that God is absolutely simple. In the domain 
lhat existed before creation* there was nothing other than God. As 
mentioned earlier, even such simple concepts as Cause and Effect 
had to be created. The same is true of number. 

tf the concept of ^oneness* existed in God, this would imply that 
the concept of number exists in His essence. This in itself would 
introduce an elelmeni of plurality. One could then speak of God and 
His "oneness, n thai is T His association with the number one. "God" 
and "His oneness" would then be two concepts. 

The Hebrew word Echad denotes an association with the number 
one. Yachid, on the other hand, is a negative attribute, indicating the 
absence of any plurality whatever. 



He has no second 

This is based on the veise, "There is One, He has no second, He 
has neither son nor brother" (Ecclesiastes 4: 8 J, 



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H SEFER YETZIRAH 

Before one, what do you count 

How can one count before the concept of "one*" came imo exis- 
tence. As the Scfer Yetzirah later says, "one* 4 parallels Keter, ihe First 
Sefirah (1:9). As discussed earlier (l:l) + the concept of numbers did 
not come into existence until the creation of the Sefiroi, which were 
the first elements of numerality and plurality in creation. The con- 
cept of "one™ did not come into being until the Sefirah of Keter was 
created. God, the Infinite Being, existed before Keter came into 
being. 



1:8 



«iy-i mTim {'« Swprn*) -rasta -pSw DipaS 
:nn^ rroj nt nn ^jn aw 



Ten Sefirot of Nothingness 

Bridie your mouth from speaking 

and your heart from thinking 
And if your heart runs 

return to the place. 
It is therefore written, 

"The Chayot running and returning. " (Ezekiei 1:24) 
Regarding this a covenant was made. 

Bridie your mouth 

The Sefer Yetzirah defines the word BeHmah^ which we translate 
as "nothingness.™ It says that it also has the connotation of bridling 
ibaiam). 

The essence of the Sefiroi can only be attained when one bridles 
one's lips from speaking, and closes one's mind to all verbal and 
depictive thought. Only when one makes the mind completely blank 
can the Sefirot be experienced. 

This is particularly important, since many techniques of 
Kabbalah meditation involve the recitation of a mantra-like device 
or various types of contemplation. All such techniques, however, are 
only a means through which the mind is cleared of all thought. The 



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Chapter One 67 

actual experience of the Scfirot only tomes after one Slops using the 
technique and remains absolutely still, with all ihc thought processes 
hushed. ITD 



And your heart from thinking 

In Kabbalah, the term "heart" usually denotes Binah. ]7L It indi- 
cates the verbal part of the mind, which is the seat of Binah con- 
sciousness. This Binah consciousness must be "bridled" so the Sefirot 
can be experienced with Chakhmah consciousness alone. 



And if your heart runs 

Here, "heart" again refers to Binah consciousness* The Sefirot 
must be experienced with Chakhmah consciousness. If one tries to 
depict them with Binah (the "heart"), then the mind can become 
engulfed in a profusion of symbolism. As the Kabbalists explain, this 
is very dangerous, since the mind can be swallowed up in this 
kaleidoscope of symbolism, and not be able 10 emerge from it. |J?I This 
is what happened to Ben Zomah, who lost his mind when he entered 
Paradise. 1 " 

This ^running" consists of a rapid profusion of symbolism, either 
verbal or visual J M If the "heart runs," the Sefer Yetzirah warns that 
one should "return to the place." He must focus on something physi- 
cal, so as to restore spiritual equilibrium. I7S 

In this respect, one must emulate the Chayot, the "living angels" 
seen by Ezekiel in his vision. One must oscillate between "running 
and returning." Since one can only think with Binah consciousness, 
one must use it to swing into Chakhmah consciousness. This stale 
can only be maintained for a short time, where u pan Binah conscious- 
ness returns, and one tries to depict his experience* At this point, one 
must immediately return to the physical. In this manner, one can 
oscillate back and forth, reaching higher each time. J76 



A covenant was made 

From the context, this covenant is a mutual agreement between 
God and the mystic. The mystic promises that he will not attempt to 
depict the Sefirot with Binah consciousness, and God promises that 
if one runs back immediately, then he wi]] be able to return. 



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(ft SEFER VETZFRAH 

It is in this content thai the Kabbalists advised those who were 
attempting to reach the highest Levels to bind their soul with an oath 
that it should return to their body J ^ Besides such individual oaths, 
there is also a general covenant that implies that the soul wilt be able 
to return, even from the highest levels. 

In more general terms, a covenant is something that comes 
between two things and joins them. This is the covenant that joins 
the spiritual and the physical. 

In particular, as the Sefer Yelzirah states (1:3), a covenant 
denotes circumcision. One of the reasons for circumcisions is to indi- 
cate that one should be able to control one's sexual passions^ 7 * Com- 
munion with the spiritual is also sexual in a sense, and the covenant 
of circumcision also helps to control this passion. A person who can 
control his sexual passions even at the height of desire, can also con- 
irol his mind when it enters the spiritual realm. 

According to some critical studies, this line is the end of the most 
ancient part of the text. The Sefer Yetzirah (6:7) also appears to indi- 
cate that the covenant mentioned here was that which God made 
with Abraham, What the text might be saying is that, regarding every- 
thing that has been written up to this point, a covenant was made, 
possibly with Abraham, 



1:9 



:tniprr mi «im Tin-n 



Ten Seftrot of Nothingness: 
One is the Breath of the Living God 
Blessed and benedicied is {he name 
of the Life of Worlds 
The voice of breath and speech 
And this is the Holy Breath. 



One 

The Setlrah alluded to here is Keter (Crown). This is the number 
one. It is the first of the numbers to come into existence. " 9 



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Chapter One W 

The breath of the Living God 

This is based on the verse, where God says of BetzaJe], builder 
of the tabernacle in the desert, "I will Fill him with the Breath of God 
{Ruach Elohiwi), with Wisdom, Understanding, and Knowledge** 
(Exodus 31:3). We therefore see that the "Breath of God" comes 
before Wisdom and Understanding. Among the Sefirot, then, this 
corresponds to Keter,'* As the Talmud says, it was through this 
* Breath of God" that Betzalel was able to manipulate the letters of 
creation. 

The word ruach, which we translate here as "breath," is also the 
word for wind, and the Sefer Yetzirah also apparently uses it as the 
term for air. This wo^ however, is often used in the Bible to denote 
spirit, and this is the sense that it is used here. 

In general the word ruach indicates motion and communication. 
It is related to the words O-rach, meaning a path, and O-reach, mean- 
ing a guest. The spirit (ruach) of life in an animal is the power that 
causes it to move- 
Normally, the air is invisible and undetectable, ft is only when 
it moves that one can feel it as a wind or breath. Similarly, the spirit- 
ual continuum is undetectable, except when it moves. It is then 
experienced as spirit (ruach). Hence, ruach is the word for wind T 
breath, and spirit. 

This is also describing the act of creation. The analogy would be 
the formation of a glass vessel. 1 * 1 First the breath [ruach) emanates 
from the mouth of the glassblower. The vessel is shaped through the 
interaction of the breath, where the wind bounding off the walls 
causes pressure. The vessel then expands in all spacial directions. 



Living God 

As mentioned above (1:1), the term "Living God" {Eiohim 
Chayirn) denotes Yesod (Foundation), when this Sefirah is in a pro- 
creative mode, disbursing all the forces of creation. The ^spirit" here, 
which is from Keter, is that which is ultimately disbursed by Yesodn 
Since Keter itself cannot be experienced> it is referred to in terms of 
Yesod t since that is where it is experienced. Ia: 



Blessed and Benedicied 

In other ancient Kabbalah texts, such as the Bahir, these adjec- 
tives are also used with regard to Keter. ISJ 



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W SEFER YETZIRAH 

In Hebrew, the l wo terms here are Barukh (ttid) and MeBhorakh 
(yran). Both words actus] Jy mean "blessed." Barukh denotes that 
God is intrinsically blessed, while MeBorakh implies thai He is 
blessed by others in prayer. 

When we say that God is "blessed," this means that His essence 
is brought down, so as to interact with His creation and "bless" it J** 
Hence t it is related to the word Berekh (fia), meaning "knee,*' Just 
as the knee, when it is bent, serves to Lower the body, so a blessing 
serves to lower the Divine. This is closely related to the concept of 
sitting, discussed above {1:4), 

God has an intrinsic mode through which He brings His essence 
to bear on His creation. In this respect, He is called Barukh. His 
essence is also brought to bear to a greater degree as a result of prayer 
and similar actions. In this respect He is said to be MeBhorakh, 



Life of Worlds 

This also refers to the Sefirah of Yesod (Foundation), but in a 
mode where it bestows spiritual influx and life to the universes below 
Atzilut. It is therefore called "Life of Worlds" 



Voice of Breath and Speech 

These were the tools of creation, as it is written , "With the Word 
of God, the heavens were made, and with the Breath (Ruach) of His 
mouth, all their hosts" {Psalms 33:6). According io the Talmud, this 
alludes to the first Saying of creation, that is, to KeterJ" 

Voice {kal) is pure inarticulate sound, and as such, it is related 
to Chakhmah. Speech, on the other hand, is articulate and related to 
Binah, These two opposite? are then connected by "Breath* 
(Ruach). 

This can also be interpreted in terms of creation t "Voice" is pure, 
inarticulated creative force. It is alluded to in the first verse of the 
Torah, - In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth* The 
Talmud stales that this was the first of the Ten Saying with which the 
world was created, 1 K This is an inarticulate Saying, since only the 
accomplishment, and not the saying, is recorded in the Torah. 

Right after thij, the Torah reports, The breath of God {Ruach 
Eiohim) hovered on the face of the water' 1 (Genesis );2), This is 
"Breath** or Spirit (Ruach). It is only after this that God speaks and 
says, "Lei there be light* 1 (Genesis 1:3). This is the reason for the 
sequence in Sefer Yetzirah: "Voice, breath, speech. " ,,T 



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Chapter One 71 

This is the Holy Breath 

In Hebrew, this is Ruach Hakodesh, usually translated as "Holy 
Spirit." This is the usual term for divine inspiration, which in lis 
higher forms also includes prophecy. 

This **Holy Spirit** can be seen as the intermedial!? be i ween 
Voice and Speech. It is thus also intermedia it between Chakhmah 
and Binah consciousness, Ruach HaKodesh is the divine inspiration 
and information that one can bring back from a state of Chakhmah 
consciousness to one"s normal stale of Binah consciousness. 

Such Ruach HaKodesh is like Keter, which stands between 
Chakhmah and Binah, but which is above them. Both Chakhmah and 
Binah arc functions of the mind itself, while Ruach HaKodesh comes 
from without. It is therefore likened to Keter, since a crown is worn 
above the head and is external to it. This Ruach HaKodesh is the 
"breath of God" mentioned in the verse* "I will fill him with the 
Breath of God, with Wisdom, Understanding, and Knowledge." 11 * 



1:10 



crmtn rr-ra? ra nitni ppn nno mi omto 
orrm jiiVim pan matt vbv -no' m*jnK 
:jna JTWt nm hidiot mp p 



Two: Breath from Breath. 
With it He engraved and carved 
22 Foundation Letters 

Three Mothers 

Seven Doubles. 

and Twelve Elemental 
And one Breath is from them. 



Breath from Breath 

This is Malkhul {King$hip), the lowest of the Ten Sefirot. 1 " 
It is counted right after Keter, following the above mentioned 
dictum, "imbed their end in their beginning" Keter is Cause, while 
Malkhut is Effect, and Cause cannot exist without Effect. 

In the language of the later KabbalislSi the first Breath from 
Keter is called Direct Light [Or Yashar), This second "Breath from 



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T2 SEFER YETZIRAH 

Breath." associated with Malkhut is called Reflected Light (Or 
ChozerW™ Using the analogy of the glassblower above, this is ihe 
breath that bounces off the walls of the vessel being formed. 

In a conceptual sense, the Direct Light is the concept of causal- 
ity, where Keter is the Cause of all things. As mentioned above, how- 
ever, Cause cannot exist without Effect, and hence, Effect is also the 
cause of Cause, MaEkhuL the Effect, is therefore also the Cause, and 
this the concept of Reflected Light. 

The Kabbalists often speak of Lights and Vessels, "Light" 
denotes the concept of giving, while Vessels indicate that of accepting 
and receiving. The Kabbalists also teach that the Vessels came into 
being through the "collision" between Direct Light and Reflected 
Light J ,y These Vessels are the letters of the alphabet. 1 * 1 

The Sefer Yetzirah therefore speaks of "Breath" and of "Breath 
from Breath." The first "Breath** denotes the simple breath that 
emanates from the lungs and throat. "Breath from Breath" is that 
which is reflected by the various pans of the mouth to produce the 
sounds of speech." 3 It is through the interaction of direct and 
reflected breath that sounds are produced. 

En man, this taJces place in the mouth, while in the Sefirot, it 
occurs in Malkhut, It is for this reason that the Tikkuney Zohar 
speaks of Malkhut as the "Mouth/* 1 * It is also through Malkhut that 
all images of the higher Sefirot are reflected so that they should be 
visualized. '" 

The Sefer Yetzirah therefore says that the 22 letters were created 
through this second Sefirah, 



Engraved and carved 

As discussed earlier (1:1), the word Chakak, which is translated 
as "engraver denotes the removal of material. The letters came into 
existence when the reflected breath removes portions of the direct 
breath. This takes place through the various motions of the mouth. 

The second process is Chatzav, which is translated as "carve" or 
"quarry." This denotes separating material from its source, as in the 
verse, "From its mountains, you quarry {chatzav) copper™ (Deuteron* 
omy 8:9). It also refers to "quarrying" in a spiritual sense, as in, 
"Look at (God J the Rock from which you were quarried {ckatz&yy 1 
<lsaiah5l:l). lSt 

The word Chatzav thus denotes the process wherein the letter 
sounds leave the mouth and are expressed independently. In this con- 
text, "Engrave" (chakak) indicates the articulation and pronunciation 
of the sounds, and "carve** {chatzav} denotes their expression^" 



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Chapter One 73 

From the last section of Sefer Yelzirah (6:7) h we also see that 
"engraving" and "carving" denote meditative process. This shall be 
discussed later. 

And one breath is from them 

All letters that are expressed involve the same breath. In a spirit- 
ual sense, this means thai the same inspiration comes from ail letters- 
This is the Ruach HaK&desh that emanates from MaLkhuL Since 
MaLkhut is called the "Mouth,* 1 the spirit emanating from it is called 
"speech." Jus: like physical speech, this consists of "words," which 
in turn are comprised of "letters." 

Some authorities interpret this phrase, "And breath is one of 
them." This is because Breath (Ruach) is associated with the letter 
Atef, as below (3:7). '« 



1:11 



mvnitf 2~3 pi 3vm ppn rrno d*o xhw 
7\mv yn2 jppn wu\ pd"i in3i *nno 

on*Sy py*i nyiyo pas gm'o rain poo pm 



Three; Water from Breath. 
With it He engraved and carved 
(22 letters from/ 
chaos and void 
mire and day 
Me engraved them iike a sort of garden 
He carved them like a sort of watt 
He covered them iike a sort of ceiling 
[And He poured snow over them 
and it became dust 
as it is written 
"For to snow He said, 'Become earth"' (Job 37.6J.J 

Water from Breath 

This is Chakhmah (Wisdom). IW The Midrash thus says, "Breath 
(Ruach) gave birth to Wisdom. WJ(B Wisdom is represented by water, 



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74 SEFER VETZIEUH 

since water is an undifferentiated fluid, as discussed earlier (1:1). 
Structure must be imposed on it from without. 

The process described by Sefer Yetzirah is alluded to in the 
verse, "He makes His breath (ruach) blow, the waters flow** (Psalms 
147:18), *» 

The analogy is rain, which is formed when warm, moist air col- 
lides with cold air. Similarly, the interaction of direct and reflected 
breath creates the Sefiiah of Chakhrnah. Just as rain falls in all Things 
alike, so Chakhrnah bestows God T s blessing on all things without dis- 
tinction. 305 Just Like air can hold moisture, so Chakhrnah is implied 
in the "Breath" thai is Keter. 

The parallel between Chakhrnah and rain is described in the 
verses (Isaiah 55:9-1 1 ): 

As the heaven is higher than the earth 

so are My ways higher than your ways 

and My thoughts, than your thoughts. 
But as the rain and snow descend from heaven 

and return not there 

without watering the earth 

making it bloom and bud 

giving seed to the sower and bread to he who eats. 
So the word thai emanates from My mouth 

shall not return to me emptyhanded 

without accomplishing that which I please 

and succeeding in its mission. 

Here God is saying ih;it His "though:." which is Chakhrnah, is 
as far above the human mind as the sky is above the earth. But just 
as rain can descend from the sky, so can God's Wisdom come down 
to man, accomplishing what He desires. 

The difference between breath and water is that breath must be 
blown downward, while water falls on its own,* * The spiritual 
essence implied by Keter can only be granted by God's direct inter- 
vention and wilL 204 That implied by Chakhrnah, on the Other hand, 
descends to lower levels on its own. 

In a psychological sense, Keter represents Ruach HaKodesh, the 
divine inspiration that can only be granted by God. Wisdom, on the 
other hand, can be gained by man on his own. If man makes himself 
into a vessel for Chakhrnah, it comes down to him automatically. In 
this respect, it is like rain, which can be used by anyone who has a 
proper vessel to hold it. 

Breath also alludes to the process whereby God imposes His will 
on creation deliberately, so as to change natural events. Chakhrnah, 
on the other hand, involves the natural course of events, which pre- 



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Chapter One 75 

cede without any divine intervention. It is because of Chakhmah that 
the course of nature can exist. In a physical sense, water is said to 
allude to the undifferentiated primeval matter. 10 * 

With them He engraved 

Here the Sefer Veuirah is speaking about the beginnings of writ- 
ten letters. The spoken letters arise from breath, but for the written 
letters to exist, there must exist a writing fluid, such as ink. This 
implies the liquid slate, of which the prototype is water. The writing 
fluid is spoken of as ''mire and clay." 

Chaos and Void 

Tohu and Bohu in Hebrew. This alludes to the initial slate of cre- 
ation, as it is written, "The earth was chaos and void" (Genesis 1:2). 
The Sefer Yetzirah later says that it was out of this chaos {tohu) that 
substance was formed (2:6). 

Tohu denotes pure substance that does not contain information. 
Bohu is pure information that does not relate to any substance. 20 * 
Both are undifferentiated, and arc therefore included in Chakhmah. 
With Bohu (information), the alphabet letters could be engraved on 
Tohu (substance). 

The scripture states that, "ihe earth was chaos and void." The 
Kabbahsts note that "earth" [ereti) is a feminine word, and teach that 
it alludes to Mai k hut, the archetype of the feminine, "Chaos and 
void," which related to Chakhmah, did not come into existence until 
after Malkhut, This is the same as the order of the Sefer Yetzirah, 
which also places Chakhmah after Malkhut. 307 

Mire and day 

In Hebrew, mire is Refesh, and clay is Tyt. The only place in the 
Bible where the two are mentioned together is in the verse, "The 
wicked are like the troubled sea. It cannot rest, and its waters cast up 
mire and clay" (Isaiah 57:20), 

In describing the original state of creation, (he Torah states, "The 
earth was chaos and void, and darkness on the face of the deep 
Uehomy (Genesis l:2) + According to the commentaries the word 
Tehom denotes the mud and clay on the bottom of the sea.- 20 * 

"Chaos and void* allude to the interaction between Chakhmah 
(water) and Keter (Breath), "Mire and clay" allude to the interaction 



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76 SEFER YETZ1RAH 

between Chakhmah (water) and Malkhut (earth). Mire consists 
mostly of water, and therefore represents the dominance of 
Chakmah. Clay consists mostly of earth, and represents the domi- 
nance of Malkhut. The mire is the writing fluid* while the clay is the 
medium upon which it is written. 

He engraved them... 

The Hebrew letters have three basic parts, a top, center, and bot- 
tom. The top and bottom usually consist of heavy horizontal lines, 
while the center consists of thinner vertical lines. 

The bottoms of the letters were "en germed like a garden/* This is 
where material is removed from the matrix, leaving a hollow. The sides 
of the letters are then "carved like a wall." These are the vertical lines 
which separate the letters from each other like walls. Finally, the tops 
of the letters are added* like a ceiling covering the letters, 5 * 1 According 
to some authorities, this also alludes to the creation of space 310 

As we shall see later (2:4), this can also be an instruction for a 
meditation. 

He poured snow over them 

This is omitted in some versions, but the idea is found in the 
Midrash. :n 

The liquid state represents fluidity and change, whereas the solid 
state represents permanence. When the Torafi a peaks of instability, 
it uses water as an example, as in the verse, "unstable Uko water" 
(Genesis 49:4). i,; Thus, when Chakmah is in a state of (lux, it is rep- 
resented by water, but when it is in a state of permanence, it is repre- 
sented by snow. 

As mentioned earlier, Chakmah has two modes. The first is that 
of Chakmah consciousness, while the second is that of memory. 
Chakhmah consciousness is fluid, and is represented by water. Mem- 
ory, on the other hand, is fi3tcd T and is denoted by snow. 

The letters themselves represent the fluid state. Like a fluid, at 
this point, they can be combined in any way that one desires. Only 
after snow is poured over them do they become set and immutable 
in the solid state. A similar idea is found in the Bahir, which slates 
that before it was given to Israel, the Torah was likened to water, but 
after it was given, it was likened to stone , :i * 

Although Chakhmah is nonverbal and nonvisual it still repre- 
sents the source of the letters. It is only after the letters are combined 
into words that they represent verbal Binah consciousness. The let- 



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Chapter One 77 

ters themselves are the "paths of Wisdom," but, as explained earlier 
(1:1), they are expressed primarily through Understanding 



A . A f\ mzn «D3 ra avm ppn o*ao pk j^tx 

I ■ I ^ rrwrr otfrai iEHip;i rvm q*jbt«i o*dtv 

t our; Fire from Water 
With it He engraved and carved 
the Throne of Glory 
Seraftm, Ophanim, and holy Chayot 
and M 'mistering angels 
From these three He founded His dwelling 
as it is written: 
"He makes His angeb of breaths. 

His ministers of flaming fire" (Psalms 104:4). 

Fire from Water 

This is Bitiah (Understanding*.^ The process described here is 
alluded to in the verse, "Fire kindles water* (Isaiah 64: L>^ 15 

We can use the same analogy as before, where rain is brought 
about by the confluence of warm and cold air. M Fire from Water" 
would then denote the Lightning that accompanies a rainstorm. 1 '* The 
process would then be alluded to in the verse, "God's voice carves 
out [chotzev] flames of fire" (Psalms 29:8), li: 

Other commentaries state that this refers to fire kindled by a 
globe of water used as a burning glass. 211 

According to both interpretations, the fire is seen as one that is 
finely focused on one particular place. It is very different than rain, 
which falls everywhere without distinction. This, however, is an 
important difference between Binah and Chakhmah. Binah focuses 
on a single object, while Chakhmah encompasses everything. 

There is also another important difference between fire and water. 
Water naturally flows downward, while fire tends to ascend upward. 2n 
Fire a I &o tit uses the air above it lo move upward, and prevents it from 
descending. In a similar manner. Binah tends to restrict and curtail the 
flow of spiritual sustenance (shefa) downward to the lower spheres. In 
this respect, it is the precise opposite of Chakhmah. If Chakmah is the 
source of giving, then Binah is the source of restraint. 

The analogy of fire and water also refers to the mental states 
implied by Chakhmah and Binah, The Midrash states, * Water con- 



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78 SEFER YETZIRAH 

ceived and gave birth to Gloom (Afeiah), Fire conceived and gave 
birth to Light. Breath (Ruach) conceived and gave birth to Wis* 
dom." :;n From the statement, "Breath gave birth to Wisdom,™ we see 
that this entire passage is speaking of mental states. 

Water, which represents Chakhmah consciousness, thus gives 
birth to Gloom and darkness. This is the hushing and nullification 
of the senses, as well as the cessation of all normal mental processes. 
Fire, which represents Binah consciousness, then gives rise to light, 
since it is in this state that visible images are perceived. 

Just like water is calm and cool, so Chakhmah consciousness is per- 
fectly calm. Indeed, the experience of entering this state may be very 
much like descending into calm, deep water It is for this reason that 
when Rabbi Akiba and his companions entered into the mysteries! he 
warned them not to say, "Water, water,"- 21 The> should not be misled 
into thinking that they were actually experiencing physical water. 

In the Tealm of Chakhmah consciousness, even the letters only 
exist in a state of pure information. This information exists as "chaos 
and void," which cannot be grasped at all, or as "mire and clay* 
which are totally opaque. As explained earlier T the information and 
letters in Chakhmah can only be grasped through the imagery of 
Binah (1:1), It is while in a stale of Binah consciousness that this 
information can be described using such imagery as angels and the 
Throne of Glory. 

The Sefer Yetzirah also implies that the physical world came into 
being through Chakhmah, while the spiritual world has its roots in 
Binah. This is because Chakhmah, the concept of giving freely, is the 
root of mercy, while Binah, the concept of restraint is the root of 
justice. Since evil exists in the physical world, if can only be sustained 
through God's mercy, as the Psalmist sang^ "1 have said, the world 
is built on mercy" (Psalms 89:3). In the spiritual world, on the other 
hand, pure judgment prevails. 2 - 2 

According to the philosophers, Water represents the primeval 
matter, while Fire represents the primitive aether, 12i 

The Throne of Glory 

This is the vehicle through which God '"sits" and "lowers" His 
essence so as to be concerned with His creation, as above (l:4) t 
According to the Kabbalists, this Throne represents the Universe of 
Beriyah. It is in this universe that the power of Binah is dominant. 

Serajlm 

This is the highest species of angels, which exist in the Universe of 
Beriyah. Other Kabbalists refer to them as Powers, Forces or Potentials 



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Chapter One 



■>H 



Table I I. The angels and Sefirot. 







Parallel 




Universe 


Angels 


Sefirot 


Inhabitant 


Auilut 


[Akatriel] 
Seraflm 


Chakhmah 


Sefirot 


Beriyah 


fiinah 


Throne of Glory 


Yetzirah 


Chayot 


Next Six 


Angels 


Asiyah 


Ophanim 


Malkhut 


Shade of Physical 
World 



{Kochot), rather than angels. 12 * The prophet thus said, "I saw the Lord 
sitting on a high and exalted Throne. . . Serafim stood around Him" 
(Isaiah 6:1-2). The prophet Isaiah was visualizing Beriyah, the world of 
the Throne, and he saw the Seraiim, the angels of that universe. 225 

The word ^Seratim*' comes from the root Saraf, meaning "to 
burn." They are given this name because they are in the world of 
Beriyah, where Binah, which is represented by fire, is dominant. " 6 

The Chayot are the angels of Yetzirah, and these were the beings 
that were visualized by Ezekiel, He therefore said, "Above the firmament 
that was over the heads [of the Chayot] was the likeness of a Throne. . ." 
(Ezekiel 1 :26). Finally, the Ophanim are the angels of Asiyah. These were 
therefore seen below the Chayot, as the prophet said, "There was an 
Ophan on the earth near the Chayof lEztkiel 1:15). 

"Ministering angels" are those which appear to man on earth, 
While other angels can only be seen prophetically, ministering angels 
can also be seen physically.-' Table 1 1 shows the angels in relation 
to the Sefirot. 

From these three 

That is, from Breath, Fire and Water. 

He founded His dwelling 

The word for "dwelling** here is Ma'on, which we encountered 
previously ( I ;5), This term relates to God as He encompasses all cre- 
ation, including time and the spiritual dimension. 

Breath, Fire and Water are the sources of the spiritual (Keter- 
Malkhut) and time (Chakhmah-Binah) continuums, and these 
encompass all creation. 

As it is written... 

The complete verse is, "He lays the beams of His upper chambers 
with water, r . He makes breaths His angels, His ministers of flaming 
fire." 



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90 SEFER YETZIRAK 

God's "upper chambers" are the spiritual universes, while His 
lower chamber is the physical world. The ceiling beams of His upper 
chambers are said to be made of water. This refers to the level above 
Beriyah, which is Atzilut. In Atzilut, Chakhmah is dominant, and 
Chakhmah is represented by water. 

The verse says that the angels are made of "breaths" (ruchot), in 
the plural. This alludes to both direct and to reflected breath. The word 
for angel here is Malakh, which also means "messenger." Just as breath 
descends and ascends through God's will + so do these angels. They 
therefore carry out the function of direct and reflected Breath 

The second kind of angel functions as a minister, remaining in 
a single universe, These are visualized as fire. 



1:13 



om onm "min iova nyrapi wnn mo« 
lanni nVyo*? msn on onn pon .mwp mv 
y>7ii lonm Tiuch rrasi nnn onn w rwi 
nj\ofr .rr"*i3 lonm vi*h rrjsi mro onn jratt 
onn ypji ,»'ma lonm i*-itinS rr»i jnyo arm 
|wy onn hfj? ♦m'a lanni iwS nisi oni 
:' ¥ in3 ianm nNovb :tjbt 



/te t'/rajp three tellers 

from among the Elemental 

[in the mystery of the three Mothers 
Atef Mem Shin (vutt)f 
And He set them in His great Name 

and with them. He sealed six extremities. 
Fiw: He sealed "above" and faced upward 

and sealed it with Yud Heh Vav (m). 
Six: He sealed "below" and faced downward 

and sealed it with Heh Yud Vav fan). 
Seven: He sealed "east" and faced straight ahead 

and sealed it with Vav Yud Heh fm). 
Eight: He sealed "west" and faced backward 

and sealed it with Vav Heh Yud far\). 
Mine: He seated "south " and faced to the right 

and sealed it with Yud Vav Heh (n*). 
Ten: He seated "north " and faced to the ieft 

and sealed it with Heh Vav Yud fan). 



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Chapter One £1 

He chose three letters 

The Sefer Yeuirah stresses the importance of the fact that these 
letters were chosen from among the Elemental tellers. This provides 
one reason why the letters Yud Heh Vav (in*) were chosen. 

As the Sefer Yetzirah will Later explain (2:3) K in alphabetical 
order, the first three phonetic families are: 

Gutturals: ALef Heh Chet Eyin ynnw 

Labials: Bet Vav Mem Peh doo 

Palatals: Gimel Yud Kaf Kuf pyi 

It is immediately obvious that the first letters on these groups are the 
first three letters of the alphabet. Of these, Alef is one of the three 
Mothers, while Bee and Gimel are among i he Doubles. In these three 
groups, therefore, the first simple it: tiers art- Heh, Vav and Yud. 
These are the letters of the Tetraerammaton, 

The primary ordering of these letters is Yud Heh Vav r According 
to the book Raziet, this is because Yud includes the first four letters 
of the alphabet. Yud has a numerical value of 10, and this is the sum 
of the first four letters <1 + 2 + 3 + 4 - lQ) t After 4 comes 5, the 
numerical value of Heh N and then 6, the numerical value of Vav."* 

Further significance of these letters is discussed above (1:1), 



In the mystery of the three Mothers 

The three letters of the Divine Name, Yud Heh Vav (tn*) T parallel 
the three Mothers, Alef Mem Shin {vbk). See Table 12. 

As the Sefer Yetzirah later explains (3:4), Mem is water, Shin is 
fire, while Alef is breath-air. However, we also know that Yud repre- 
sents Chaichmah, which is the archetype of water, and Heh represents 
Binah, which is fire. We therefore have a relationship between Yud 
and Mem, as welt as between Heh and Shin. 

Vav has numerical value of 6, and therefore represents the six 
basic special directions. 2iS It also represents the six Sefirot; Chcsed, 
Gevurah, Ttferet, Netzach, Hod. and Yesod. Among the elements, 
Vav is said to represent Air and Breath. Indeed, in Hebrew, the word 

Table 12. The three Molher*. 



Mem a Water Chakhmah Yud * 

Shin v Fire Binah Heh rt 

Alef k Air Breath The Six Vav i 



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k: 



SEFER YETZ1RAH 



for "direction" is Ruach, the same as that for Breath. Vav is therefore 
derived from Alef. 

As we shall see, the three Mothers (Alef Mem Shin) represent 
thesis, antithesis and synthesis, the basic triad of Sefer Yetzirah (3;1)< 
Here the text explains how a three-dimensional space is produced 
from these three concepts. 

Thesis and antithesis represent two opposite directions in a one 
dimensional line. Together with synthesis, ihey yield three elements. 
Since these three elements can be permuted in six different ways, 
they define a three-dimensional space having six directions. 2 w 

He sealed "above" . . 

There are a number of ways in which the directions are repre- 
sented by the letters. In the Gra version, we have the following: 
up YHV rr> 

down HYV vn 

east VYH m 

west VHY >m 

SOUth YVH 7T0 

north HVY *n 

In this system, the axis is determined by the neutral letter Vav (1). As 
mentioned earlier, Yud is thesis, Heh is antithesis, and Vav is synthe- 
sis. Since it represents synthesis, Vav is therefore the zero point 
which is the point on the axis. See Table 13 and figure I L 



NORTH 




WEST 



DOWN 
Figure H . The Gra version. 



SOUTH 



First Column ( I \: casi/wcsi 
Second Column {!): noHh/south 
Third Column O); up/down 



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Chapter Ont 
Table 13. Various ways the directions are symbolized. 



S3 



Direction 


Gra 1 


Short 3 


Long 3 


Saadia- 1 


Ari* 


Zohar* 


TT 




Up 


YHV 


YHV 


HYV 


YHV 


YVH 


YVH 


VYH 


5 


Down 


HYV 


YVH 


YVH 


YVH 


HYV 


HYV 


HYV 


6 


East 


VYH 


HYV 


VYH 


HVY 


VYH 


VHY 


VHY 


7 


West 


VHY 


HVY 


VHY 


HYV 


VHY 


VYH 


YVH 


S 


South 


YVH 


VYH 


YVH 


VYH 


YHV 


YHV 


YHV 


9 


North 


HVY 


VHY 


HVY 


VHY 


HVY 


HVY 


HVY 


10 



] Gra Version. Sh&jrty T?hn. etc- 

1 Chafamotti. Dooash. Raavad. Ritmbait, Botril, Elicztr of W omits fU, Chay&y 

Qiam tfaBtth (enah Oiz&r Eden HaGamiz 1 71b. 
3 Thw* mi£hl be ■ mistake in this vtraoii* since WH is repeated twice- It probably 

should be lite the Gra version. 
* Stadia Vtroon 4;S, Kvt&i 4;24 (63b), 
5 Shear HaKovanoi Kovanot Noamum {p. 3 10), S\ddur HaAri, 

7 Tikunty Zohar 15*,b. F&rdet Rittumim J: 5 , Set Gra on 7V*wji<> Zo&k 16b. 

The position of the Vav thus determines the axis. The up down 
axis is reresented by the Last column, the east west axis by the first 
column, and the north south axis by the middle column. 

The direction is then determined by the remaining two Letters, 
Yud and Heh + If they are in direct order, YH f», then they define 
the positive direction on the am. If they are in reverse order, HY 
(■n), then they define the negative direction. 

The second important system is found in the Short Version, and 
used by most of the commentaries. Here, the system is: 



up 


YHV 


rp 


down 


YVH 


ttr 


east 


HYV 


*n 


west 


HVY 


»'n 


south 


VYH 


rrr 


north 


VHY 


'T 



Here, the axis is determined by the letter in the first column. The 
assignment is 

Yud » up down 

Heh i east west 

Vav i up down 

The positions of the last two letters then determine whether it is 
in the positive or negative direction along the given axis. 

The system found in the Long Version is very similar to that of 
the Gra, except for the up down direction. Examining it carefully, 



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14 SEFEH VETZtRAH 

Tabic 14. Di net Lions based on the Ari, Znhvr, and Tikimt\ Zohur. 



Sefirah 


Direction 




Ari 


Zohar 


TZ 


Chesed 


south 


right 
Left 


YHV 


YHV 


YHV 


Gevurah 


north 


HVY 


HVY 


HVY 


Tiferet 


east 


front 


VYH 


VHY 


VHY 


Netzach 


up 


up 


YVH 


YVH 


VYH 


Hod 


down 


down 


HYV 


HYV 


HYV 


Yesod 


west 


back 


VHY 


VYH 


YVH 



one suspect* that it originally was the same as the Gra version, except 
that the first two combinations were confused. This is supported by 
the fact that the permutation YVH is repeated twice. 

The Saadia version is very much like the Short Version, except 
thai the permutations representing east and west arc interchanged. 

Highly significant is the system of the Ari, presented in his discus- 
sion of the mystical meditations associated with the Four Species. The 
Four Species consist of the citron (etrog) T palm (fulav), myrtle {hadas), 
and willow {aravahy The are taken on the festival of Succot (tabernac- 
les), following the commandment, "On the first day, you shall take fruit 
of the citron tree, branches of palm trees, boughs of myrtle trees* and 
willows of the brook" (Leviticus 23:40). These species are waved in all 
six directions, and according to the Ari T the appropriate Loner combina- 
tion must be meditated upon for each direction." 1 Each of these direc- 
tions is also paired with its appropriate Sefirah 

Tiferei 
Easi 



Gevurah 


» i a 




1 n * 


Oie&cd 


Norlh 




nil 




Souih 


Hod 


l * n 




n i * 


Neuach 


Down 




* n T 




Up 



Yesod 
West 

Figure 12. The Art's representation. 



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Chapter One &5 

The Ari begins wiih Chesed (Love), the first Sefirah, which repre- 
sents the south, taking the knots of the Name in their natural order, 
YHV (rr). See Table 14, 

To determine the order for the opposite direction, the Ari then 
makes use of a system used by the Sefer Yetiirah itself. {2:4), The 
text states that the two prime opposites are Oneg (ANG up) meaning 
"delight," and Nega (NGA pu), meaning a "plague." In forming an 
opposite, it takes the first Letter and places it at the end. This is pre- 
cisely what is done to produce Gevurah (Strength), which represents 
the north. The Yud {*), which was at the beginning, is now placed at 
the eud T producing the combination HVY (nn). The north south axis 
is then represented by the two letters HV (in). 

The up down axis is similarly defined by the letters YV (r) + with 
the position of the H (n) determining the direction. 

In this system, the first letter is also significant. For south and 
up, the initial letter is Y (*) T while for north and down, it is H (% 
Both of these are opposites in the three column representation. 

The east west axis is on the neutral zero point on both the up 
down line and on the north south line. In the three column represen- 
tation, Tiferet (east) and Yesod {west) are both in the middle line. 
Since both the middle line and the letter V (1) represent synthesis, the 
representation of both these directions begins with a Vav." 2 See fig- 
ure 12, 

The system of the Zohar is exactly the same as that of the Ari T 
except that east and west are interchanged. The system of the 
Tikuney Zohar uses a similar principle, hut somewhat differently. 

Later we shall see that the twelve possible permutations of 
YHVH represent the twelve diagonal boundaries (5:2). Each of the 
six basic directions can include two of the diagonal boundaries. The 
first of these is represented by the second Heh at the end of the trip- 
let, and the second, with this Heh at the beginning. 



We can now understand the conceptual nature of the Sell rot. The 
most primary relationship possible is that which exists between Cre- 
ator and creation. This is the cause effect relationship. Cause is 
Keter, while Effect is Malkhut. 

Once the concepts of Cause and Effect exist, another concept 
comes into being, namely that of opposites. If opposites exist* si mi- 
larities must also exist. 

Two new concepts therefore come into being. These are Similar- 
ity and Oppositeness. In the language of philosophy these are thesis 
and antithesis. In our terminology, Similarity is Chakhmah, while 



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Xr, 



SEFER YETZIRAH 
Tiferet 



Gcvurah 




Yesod 



Figure /J. The six directions in space. 



Oppositeness is Binah L These are the Yud and initial Heh of the 
Tetragrammaton. 

Once Similarity and Opposition exist, another concept comes 
into being, namely Relationship, In philosophic terms, this is the syn- 
thesis between thesis and antithesis. In our present terminology, this 
is the Vav of the Tetragnimmaion. The word "Vav" means a hook 
and the Letter Vav as a prefix means "and." In both senses, it denotes 
connection and relationship. 

At this point in the logical sequence, we have five concepts: 
Cause and Effect, Similarity and Opposition, and Relationship, 
These, respectively are Keter and MaLkhut, Chakhmah and Binah, 
and the Vav."' 

Until the concept of Relationship was introduced, only four 
abstract points existed: Keter and Malkhut, and Chakhmah and 
Binah. It is with the concept of Relationship that a three-dimensional 
conceptual continuum comes into existence- This defines six direc- 
tions* and hence, the numerical value of Vav is 6. 

Each of the four abstract concepts then gives rise to a relation- 
ship, Chakhmah gives rise to Chesed (Love), Binah gives rise to 
Gevurah (Strength > T Keter gives rise to Tiferet (Beauty), and Malkul 
gives rise lo Yesod (Foundation). 

As discussed earlier, in a spiritual sense, Similarity is closeness, 
while Opposition is disiance In order to give, the giver must be close 
to the recipient. In a spiritual sense, there must be an element of simi- 
larity between giver and recipient. 

Therefore, Chakhmah, which is Similarity, gives rise to Chesed, 
which is the concept of giving. Conversely, Binah, which is Opposi- 
tion, gives rise to Gevurah, the concept of witholding. 



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Chapter One B7 

Tiferet is similarly derived from Keter, the concept of Cause. In 
order to have the relationship of Cause, an element must give the 
precise amount of existence or motivation required for the effect. 
This is the concept of measured giving, represented by Tiferet. 
Tiferet is beauty, the golden mean. 

Since Tiferet is derived from Keter T it would be expected to be above 
Chesed and Gevurah. However, since Tiferet is also the synthesis 
between 
Chesed and Gevurak, it is usually represented as being below them. 

Ma Ik hut, the concept of Effect, is usually said to be the feminine 
archetype of creation. Since Yesod is derived from Malkhut t Yesod 
is naturally drawn to it and motivated to attach itself to it. It is for 
this reason that Yesod is said to parallel the sexual organ. Jt is called 
Yesod (Foundanonl because il is the lowest of the six. 

Derived from ihc original four, there are now four new concepts: 
Chesed, Gevurah, Tiferet and Yesod. 

Once the concept of Relationship has been introduced, these 
four concepts are no longer merely abstract points in conceptual 
space. They are connected by the concept of Relationship. The two 
pairs, Chesed-Gevurah and Tiferet- Yesod are like two crossing lines. 
This yields four directions in a two-dimensional continuum. 

These two dimensions can be represented in physical space, The 
Tiferet- Yesod axis can represent east*west T while the Chesed- 
Gevurah axis can represent south-north. This then yields a two- 
dimensional continuum. 

Since the concept of Relationship exists, the relationship 
between the two dimensions themselves is also significant. In the 
conceptual space depiction, this would be represented as a Jine drawn 
between the two existing lines. 

The Cause-Effect or Keter-Malkhut relationship is that which is 
primary. This is represented by the Tiferet- Yesod axis. The thesis- 
antithesis relationship was introduced only to make the cause-effect 
relationship possible. The thesis-antithesis or ChaJchmah-Binah rela- 
tionship is therefore secondary. This is represented by the Chesed- 
Gevurah axis. 

The Tiferet-Yesod axis is therefore the primary dimension, while 
the Chesed-Gevurah axis is the secondary dimension. This yields a 
totally new concept, namely the quality of being primary or secon- 
dary. These, in turn, form a new, third dimension, which can be 
related to the up down direction. This is the axis Linking Netzach 
(Victory) and Hod (Splendor). See Figure 1 3. 

With the introduction of these two concepts, the six Sefirot rep- 
resented by the Vav are complete. These are Chesed, Gevurah, 
Tiferet, Netzach, Hod and Yesod. These six Sefirot represent the six 
directions in space. Together with the original four, these six yield 
the Ten Sefirot. 



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1:14 



SEFER VETZIRAH 

u*rht< nn (nrw) ntrSn rtrvno tp? iSk 
nnm on p*nQ v« rma era mia mi d*ti 



r/irae anp the Ten Sefirot of Nothingness: 

The Breath of the Living God 

Breath from Breath 

Water from Breath 

Fire from Water 
Up down east west north south. 



Aside from their theoretical implications, the Ten Sefirot also have 
important mystical and meditative significance. The Sefer Yetzirah, 
in this first chapter, has presented a system of meditating on the 
Sefirot and of binding oneself to them. 

One may use the Letters to climb the Tree of Life, but the Sefirot 
are the points where one must rest. 

There is actually an impunani apparent contradiction in the text. 
In one section (1 :6), the text says, "Their vision is like the appearance 
of Lightning, . , they speak of them 'running and returning,"* This 
would imply that it is impossible to see the Sefirot for more than an 
instant, just like a flash of lightning. Later, however, the text states, 
"If your heart runs, return to the place, as it is written, The Chayoi 
running and returning"* (1:8). This appears to say that one can go 
Turt her, but that one should refrain from doing so. J34 

What the text is actually doing however, is describing two dis- 
tinct stages of initiation into the mysteries of the Sefirot. 

The first stage begins with the exercise where the initiate must 
"understand with Wisdom, and be wise with Understanding" (1:4). 
Here he learns how to oscillate between Binah consciousness and 
Chakhmah consciousness On this level, he can meditate on the 
Sefirot as ten depths, allowing the mind to reach out to the infinity 
of each of these depths. Since he is still in a state of oscillating men- 
tality, he sees the Sefirot like flashes of lightning, ** running and 
returning.™ 

The ten infinite directions, however, represent a state of separa- 
tion and disunity. This is the essence of Binah, The initiate must 



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Chapter One &9 

therefore "imbed their end in their beginning** (1:7). He must con- 
template the point at infinity, where all these opposing directions 
come together as one. 

This, however, is something thai cannot be accomplished with Binah 
consciousness. This state of consciousness can only imagine Things ver- 
ball>. or depict things in physical terms. The point at infinity is both infi- 
nite and in finite si mal, and therefore, cannot be depicted. It can only be 
contemplated with Chakhmah consciousness. 

As the text notes, this represents the unity that preceded the con- 
cept of number. It introduces a device very much Like a Zen koan, 
asking, "Before one, what do you count"? What is the number that 
precedes all number? 

Both the point at infinity and the koart are meant to train the 
mind 10 visualize absolute nothingness. The An notes that Keter, the 
highest of the Sefirot, is often designated by the ^ord Ay tit, meaning 
"nothing." The Infinite Being, the level above Kcter, cannot even be 
designated by this word. The only word that can be used is Ejffes, 
which, according to the Ari, denotes a nothingness that thought 
(Binah) cannot grasp at all. 

It has been said that the best way to describe absolute nothing* 
ness is to speak of it as ''what you see behind your head.* Since vision 
does not emt in the back of the head, what one sees there is absolute 
nothingness. If J ask you what you see behind your head, you answer 
that you see nothing. Contemplating on what one sees behind one's 
head is therefore a good way to learn bow to visualize absolute 
nothingness. 

In general, the soul is said to consist of five parts: Nefesh, ftuach, 
Neshamah, Chayah and Yechidah. Of these, only the first three, 
Nefesh, Ruach and Neshamah, have any effect on Ihe mind The last 
two, Chayah and Yechidah, are called "envelopments" {nwkijln), 
which cannot enter the mind. 23S 

Neshamah, the highest part of the soul that "enters" the mind, 
parallels the Seftrah of Binah. See Table 1 5 on page 90. Chakhmah 
consciousness is above thought, and is Like something that exists out- 
side the mind. Or, as in the analogy used earlier, it is like what we 
"see" behind our heads. Just like something behind the head can only 
be seen if reflected in a mirror, so Chakhmah consciousness can only 
be grasped when reflected and clothed in Binah. With relation to con* 
scious thought, Chakhmah consciousness is called " nothingness." 1K 

It is in this context that the text says, "Bridle your mouth from 
speaking and your heart from thinking.* 1 "Heart" denotes Binah con- 
sciousness, and hence, it is saying that on this level, the initiate must 
blank out Binah consciousness completely. This is accomplished by 



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90 SEFER VETZLRAH 

Table IS. Levels of the soul. 



Yechidah 

Chayah 

Neshamah 

Ruach 

Nefesh 


Keter 
Chakhmah 
Binah 
The Six 
Malkhul 


Nothingness 
Thought 
Speech 
Action 


Atzilul 
Beriyah 
Yetzirah 
Asiyah 



contemplating nothingness. He must maintain this level, and is 
accordingly instructed, "If your heart runs" back to Binah, "'return to 
the place." This "place" is Chakhmah consciousness which the initi- 
ate has already attained. Once the initiate has reached a point where 
he can maintain a Mate of Chakhmah consciousnes, he is ready to 
actually begin climbing the Tree of Life, which is the ladder of the 
Sefirot. 

Hebrew is written without vowels, and therefore* the third per- 
son and the imperative are written exactly the same. We have trans- 
lated the last paragraph, "He sealed north and faced to the reft, and 
He sealed it with VHY." This, however, can also be read in the 
imperative: "Seal north, face to the left, and seal it with VHY," 

In a similar manner, the expression, "He engraved it and He 
carved it," can also be read in the imperative, "Engrave it and carve 
it. n If understood in this manner, sections 1:9-13 can be read as 
instructions rather than as a theory of creation. (In Appendix I, 1 
have translated the Short Version completely in the imperative, to 
demonstrate how it reads.) 

The supposition that this is describing a technique is supported 
by the last section of the Sefer Yetrirah itself, which says of Abraham, 
"He bound the 22 letters of the Torah in his tongue. . . He drew them 
in water, kindled them with fire T agitated them with breath* (6:7). 

The initiate begins by meditating on Keter, the initial "Breath of 
the Living God,** This Breath must be brought down to the level of 
Yesod (Foundation), In doing this, he must contemplate the essence 
of "Voice, Breath and Speech." 

Ordinary thought is verbal, and hence, consists of words. These 
words consist of letters. These are not physical letters, but mental, 
conceptual letters. These conceptual letters, however, are built out of 
"Voice, Breath. Speech.** Hence, in meditating on these concepts, one 
is actually contemplating the very roots of thought. 

In the Long Version, the text concludes, * Speech is Ruach 
HaKodesh (Divine Inspiration) " Ruach HatCodesh, however, is above 
thought. Hence, the ^speectT which the te*t is speaking of, is a 
"speech" that precedes thought. 



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Chapter One 91 

The second step is "Breath from Breath " The text slates, "with it 
engrave and carve 22 letters,** The Kabbalists explain that 
"engraving" and "carving*' denote meditative techniques. This is sup- 
ported by the last section (6:7), which states that Abraham " looked, 
saw, understood, probed, engraved, and carved, and was successful 
in creation." 

They teach that "engraving" denotes a process where one depicts 
a letter in one's mind, M Carving** then means that this letter is sepa- 
rated from all other thoughts, so that the entire mind is filled with 
it. WT One may do this by contemplating a letter or letter combination 
until all other images and thoughts are banished from the mind. 
Alternatively + this may be accomplished by chanting a letter in a 
manner that shall presently be described. 

This is the stage of Malkhut, where one stands at the bottom of 
the Tree of Life. It is at this stage that the initiate must work with 
the letter that he wishes to use. He must then "draw it in water, and 
kindle it with fire" (6:7), The subsequent instructions therefore indi- 
cate how the letter is to be charged with spiritual power. 

The third step, then, is "Water from Breath." At first, the initiate 
depicts the letter in transparent air, visualizing it clearly. Now he 
must reach up to the level of Chakhmah, returning to a state of 
Chakhmah consciousness. He then begins to see the letter as if he 
were looking at it through water. This is "drawing it through water," 
The Letter begins to blur and fade, as if it were being viewed through 
increasingly deep water. 

The initiate must then "engrave and carve chaos and void, mire 
and clay." At this stage, the form breaks up and dissolves completely, 
like something seen through turbulent water. This is "chaos and 
void," ::w The image then fades away completely, as if it were being 
viewed through muddy water This is "miie,'' Finally, all that is left is 
inky blackness, as if one were buried in totally opaque mud and clay. 

The text describes this process saying, "Engrave them like a gar- 
den, carve them like a wall, cover (or surround) them like a ceiling," 
First visualize this blackness beneath your feet. Your feet may then 
appear to dissolve, a phenomenon that is also mentioned in other 
ancient mystical texts, 237 Slowly, make this blackness creep over you, 
surrounding you completely like a wall. Finally, let it cover and sur- 
round you like a ceiling of inky black mire. At this point, you will 
have no visual sensation whatever, neither physical nor mental. 

All through this process, you are constantly aware of the feeling 
of water, cool and absolutely calm. It is the dark, wet feeling of the 
womb, where you are totally isolated from all sensation. 

It is with respect to this state that the Midrash states, "Water 
conceived and gave birth to absolute darkness (a/efah). v * i4(i This is the 
level of Chakhmah consciousness. 



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92 5EFER YETZJKAH 




Figure 14. The fetters Yud Heh Vav in fahurite script. 

The initiate then reaches the fourth step, where he returns to a 
Mate of Bmah consciousness. This is depicted as fire and blinding 
light, as the Midrash continues, "Fire conceived and gave birth Co 
Light." This is the stage where one "kindles them with fire." 

Here, the initiaie must "engrave and carve out the Throne of 
Glory, Scrafim, Ophanim, and holy Chayot." He depicts (engraves) 
and fills the mind (carves) with these images, these being the same as 
the ones visualized by the prophets,** 1 He must start with the Throne, 
and then tuniiniii' ihruugh (he various levels of angels, ending with 
the Cha>oi in the I 'm verse o! Yet/ i rah, which corresponds to the Six 
Directions, The influx is thus brought to the Level of Binah. 

Now the initiate must bring it to the other six Seftrot — Chesed, 
Gevurah, Tiferet, Neizach, Hod, and Yesod, These are associated 
with the six directions of the physical world, which have their coun- 
terpart in the six days of creation. By associating the Sefirot with the 
six physical directions, one actually brings the influx into the physical 
domain. 

The method of drawing the influx into these lower Sefirui 
involves contemplating the three letters Yud Heh Vav {w). These 
should be visualized as if written in the Ashurite script, with black 
Ore on white fire. See figure 14. These letters should appear huge, 
filling the entire mind.** 3 

The idea of black fire is not just the absence of light, but negative 
light J* 3 The black must be so intense that it is brilliantly black, just 
as a light is brilliantly white. This is the black fire with which the 
letters must be depicted. 

While contemplating the Letter combination s+ one should face in 
the appropriate direction, either physically or mentally, After com- 
pleting all six directions and permutations, this part of the exercise 
is complete. 

What still remains are the astrological applications of this tech- 
nique, which will be described in chapters 4 and 5. This is the process 
described in the case of Abraham, "He ignited them with the Seven 
[planets] , he directed them with the Twelve constellations" (6:7). 



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CHAPTER TWO 



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Chapter Jkc 93 



2:1 



vhp iio* m>mt trnvi onpp 
rrrcr p omen m^iso yaen hidn 

rioon 'o vott jirat pW .o»nao ynso pn 



7Wrt/^fwo Foundation Letters: 
Three Mothers 
Seven Doubles 
and Twelve Elementais, 
The Three Mothers are Aief Mem Shin (van). 
Their foundation is 
a pan of merit 
a pan of liability 

and the tongue of decree heading between them, 
/Three Mothers, AlefMem Shin (mat) 
Mem hums. Shin hisses 
and Aief is the Breath of air 
deciding between them.] 



TwentyA wo Foundation Letters 

Having completed ihe initiation into the Ten Sefirot, the text 
now discusses the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet. 



Three Mothers 

The first set of Letters ate the Three Mothers, which will he dis- 
cussed in further detail in chapter 3. Here they are introduced 
because they define the thesis-antithesis-synthcsis structure that is 
central to the teachings of Sefer Yetzirah. They also serve as an intro- 
duction to the meditative techniques involving the letters. 

These three letters represent ihe three columns into which the 
Sefirot are divided. The right hand column, headed by Chakhmoh* 
is represented by Mem. The left column, headed by Binah, is repre* 



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96 SEFER VETZIRAH 

sented by Shin. The center column, headed by Kjeter, is represented 
by Alef, As discussed earlier, Chakhmah is water (which is here repre- 
sented by Mem), Binah is fire (which is Shin), and Keter is breath-air 
(which is the Alef). 

A pan of merit 

The Hebrew word for "pan" here is Kaf. This word can denote 
the pan of a scale, but it also denotes the palm of the hand. Likewise, 
the word Lashon can be used for the tongue of a balance, the pointer 
which indicates when the two pans are in equilibrium. Its usual 
meaning, however, is the tongue thai is in I he mouth J 

Therefore, on one hand, the letters Alef Mem Shin (mk) repre- 
sent the two pans and tongue of a balance. On the other hand, they 
represent the two hands, and the ""covenant between them" (1:3), 
which is the tongue. 

The tongue of decree 

The Hebrew word for "decree" here is Chok (pn), This comes 
from the root Chakak {ppri), meaning to "engrave," It is the "tongue 
of balance" that "engraves" the letters. This is represented by the let- 
ter Alef («), the basis of the alphabet. 

In the most elemental terms, Mem, Shin and Alef represent the- 
sis, antithesis, and synthesis. 

The analogy is that of a scale, {See figure 15.) There is a pan of 
merit and a pan of liability. This is very much Like 
the scale used to weigh one's merits and sins, which is mentioned in 
the Talmud.* In the center is the fulcrum and pointer, both repre- 
sented by the Alef, which is the "tongue of decree," 




Figure 15. The stale that weighs merits and sins. 



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Chapter 7»w 97 

In practical application, these letters can also be used. If one 
wishes to create a situation in which he himself or another person is 
to be brought to the side of merit, one does so by making use of Ihe 
letter Mem {a). 1 The techniques shall be discussed later. Similarly t if 
one wishes to bring an enemy to the side of liability h so that he should 
be judged harshly on high, one makes use of the letter Shin (*)■ Alef 
(«) is used to bring a person to be judged fairly and evenly. 

These qualities also come into play in popular usage. Humming, 
which involves pronouncing the letter Mem. is usually seen as a 
happy. pleasant, positive activity. Conversely, one hisses at a villain 
or enemy, pronouncing the letter Shin. 



Mem hums. Shin hisses 

The Hebrew word for **hunV here is Damam (om) t in which the letter 
Mem is dominant. Similarly, the word for "hiss" is Sharak (pir) + 
which begins with a Shin/ 

The humming sound associated with Mem is very calm, and it 
is thus, the sound associated with water and Chakhmah conscious- 
ness. If one wishes to attain Chakhmah consciousness, one repeats 
this sound in the manner described like the Kabbalists. The resem- 
blance between this and the "Om" chant is certainly more than 
coincidental. 

This sound is also closely associated with prophecy, which 
involves Chakhmah consciousness. The Kabbalists say that the "fine 
still (damamah) voice" (1 Kings 19:12), heard by Elijah, was actually 
a "fine humming sound." 5 This humming sound is used to attain such 
a state of consciousness, and as such, it is experienced when one is 
in a prophetic state. 

Just as telling is a passage in Job, which, incidental I y, also 
describes the prophetic experience very graphically (Job 4:12-16): 

A word nws stolen to me 

My ear caught a touch of it 
in meditations from night visions 

When a trance fails on man 
Terror catted me and I shuddered 

It terrorized most of my bones 
A spirit passed before my face 

Made the hair of my flesh stand on end 
it stood and I did not recognize its vision 

A picture was before my eyes 

I heard a hum (damamah) and a voice. 



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9* SEFER VETZIRAH 

Table 16. Shin and Mem as pronounced with (he five primary vowels. 



ShoMo ShoMa ShoMe ShoMi 


ShoMu 


0* 


tfs 


C* 


5*7 


OF 


ShaMo ShaMa ShaMe ShaMi 


ShaMu 


•2- 


tj 


«- 


2r 


or 


SheMo SheMa SheMe SheMi 


SheMu 


~r 


ar 


5TT 


„ r 


OP 


ShiMo ShiMa ShiMe SbiMi 


ShiMu 


2C 


^f 


2ST 


sr> 


OP 


Shu Mo ShuMa ShuMe Shu Mi 


ShuMu 


or 


1" 

■ s 


□tf 







The letter Shin has the hissing sound of sh or s. This sound is associ- 
ated with fire and Binah consciousness 

The two sounds, M and Sh, may aJso he used as a device for 
oscillating between Binah and Chakhmah consciousness. One 
invokes a strong state of Binah consciousness by pronouncing the 
Shin, and then swings to Chakhmah consciousness by voicing the 
Mem, The pronunciation of these two letters can also include the five 
primary vowels, in a manner that will be described below (2; 5} in 
greater detail. 

It is significant to note that these two sounds are dominant in 
the word Chashmal {bavri}+ which, according to the Kabbahsts* is the 
interface between the physical and the spiritual. Jn his vision, Ezekiel 
thus says that be saw T *The appearance of Chashmal in i he midst of 
the fire" (Ezekiel 1 :4), It was only after visualizing the ChashmaJ that 
Ezekiel was able to perceive the Chayoi and enter into the state of 
prophecy. In our present terminology, Chashmal would be the inter- 
face between Binah consciousness and Chakhmah consciousness. It 
therefore appears out of the "midst of the fire," since it arises from 
a state of Binah consciousness. 

Since M and Sh are the dominant consonants in Chashmah, it is 
possible that the word itself was used as a mantra when the prophet 
swung between Binah and Chakhmah consciousness. "The appear- 
ance of Chashmal** would then be the visual experience that one 
would have during such a state of oscillation. Even the more 
advanced prophets, who could enter a state of chakhmah conscious- 
ness at will, would use the term Chashmal to describe this 
interface* 

According to the Talmud, the word Chashmal comes from two 
words, Chash, meaning "silence," and Mat, indicating speech. It can 
therefore be translated as "speaking silence.** 7 It is a double sensation, 
where one is experiencing the "silence** of Chakhmah consciousness, 
and the "speech" of Binah consciousness at the same lime. The two 
parts of the mind are experiencing different things simultaneously- 
Such double sensation can be easily experienced. TaJce a red glass 
and place it over the right eye, and place a green glass over the left 



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Chapter Two 99 



-? FS-i™ m nana rota ^ ^ -^ ^ ^ ^ ^ 

-^ -:">. - n ^ " -^ F? -1 3^ n 3"?a r-'tf c-pt err c •Ir* i e*r*i3 Crt) ii Men 

;n in ^i : n di r>2 w re rzfri ' : n^'r ir5r j pit; -ci yn rf^ enjp 

an :n in : n an na na na na ni * ^ t mv ?w nttf '> ui 



Figure J6. The word Koh in an array with the jive primary vowtls. 
From Shosnan Sodot (The Rose of Mysteries), 

eye. When you look through both eyes, you will perceive two opposite 
sensations simultaneously. The world will take on a surrealistic, 
almost spiritual, appearance The interface between Chakhmah and 
Binah is even more ctherial. 

The Kabbalists also note that the two letters ShinandMem spell 
out Shem (op), the word for "name.**" It is through the "names" of 
objects, and in particular, through divine Names that one can make 
the transition between Chakhmah and Binah consciousness. As the 
Baal Shem Tov taught, it is through a name that one can grasp the 
spiritual essence of a person or object. 4 

The Zohar also says that the letters Mem and Shin define the 
mystery of Moses, whose Hebrew name, Mosheh, is spelled Mem 
Shin Heh <rwo). 10 This would be an allusion to the fact that the two 
consonants, Mem and Shin, represent Chakhmah and Binah, The 
Heh has a numerical value of 5, and this would represent the five 
primary vowels, with which the combination of consonants is pro- 
nounced. See Table 1 6, 

A somewhat similar idea is taught cxplicily by the eariy 
Kabbahsts. The To rah states that Moses killed an Egyptian who was 
striking an Israelite, and the Midrash explains that this was accom- 
plished with a divine Name. ]l When he Struck the Egyptian, the 
Torah reports that Moses "looked here {koh) and there {k&hy (Exo- 
dus 2:12). In Hebrew, both "here" and "there" are Koh (ra), a word 
which has a numerical value of 25. The Kabbalists say that this repre- 
sents the twenty-five combinations between two letters that are possi- 
ble with the five primary vowels. li See figure 16. 



Alefis the Breath of air 

Alcf is a silent consonant. ;ind as such, it represents a simple breath 
of air. This docs not draw one toward either state of consciousness. 



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100 SEFER YETZ1RAH 

Normally, breathing is an unconscious act, and hence, it pertains 
to Chakhmah consciousness However, one can also control one's 
breathings and it is then in the domain of Binah consciousness. 

Consciously controlling the breath is therefore a valid technique 
for bringing together these two states of consciousness. It is also use- 
ful in making the transition between the two states. Thus, the 
Kabbalists make use of controlled breathing in association with such 
techniques as pronouncing two consonants with the five primary 
voweJs. 11 In particular, such a breath comes between the pronuncia- 
tion of the Mem and the Shin. 



2:2 



jSTQf pyn jppn no* m»ni« d*itifi entry 
12 nt<i Tern ^d rw onj -in p»om jSpp 



Twenty-two Foundation letters: 

He engraved them. He carved them. 
He permuted them, He weighed them. 
He transformed them, 

And with them. He depicted ail that was formed 
and all that would deformed. 



He engraved them 

First the letters are "engraved" out of nothingness* Then they arc 
rt carved" out and separated. They are then "permuted,* 4 so that a 
given combination appears in different sequences. They then are 
"weighed" and manipulated according to their numerical values. 
Finally, they can be "transformed" through the various standard 
ciphers." These ciphers are shown in Table 1 7. 

Each letter represents a different type of information. Through 
the various manipulations of the letters, God created all things. li 

The final expressions of creation were therefore the Ten Sayings, 
found in the first chapter of Genesis^ Each Saying consisted of words, 
which in turn consisted of letters. 

This section can also be read in the imperative: ''Engrave them, 
carve them, permute them, weigh them, and depict all that was 
formed 

When interpreted in this manner, this section is teaching a tech- 
nique discussed by various Kabbalists. 1 * The initiate must first depict 



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Chapter fa*? 



101 



Table 17. 


The standard ciphers. 














n'M 


P'TIK 


Vk 


p't< 


O 


a'M 


JUK 


SpwB 


va 


j?tn 


D'3 


ran 


n*a 


ri 


K 


, 


/1 


n 


^ 


' 





a 


a 


- 


r 


3 


3 


? 


n 


j 


: 


* 


-1 


» 


; 


s 


r 


i 


T 


A 


f 


3 


p 


s 


1 


rr 


71 


*> 


y 


s 


? 


3 


7 


1 


i 


h 


r 


D 


s 


7 


-1 


: 


T 


7 


J? 


: 


* 


V 


3 


n 


n 


SI 





D 


P 


3 


3 


P 





<* 


; 


V 


i 


¥ 


« 


1 


* 


10 


G 


5 


F 


P 


t 


a 


} 


io 


S 


y 


n 


T 


£ 


S 


S 


?*» 


3 


- 


tf 


r 


J? 





Q 


^ 


4 


1 


3 


n 





3 


J 


V> 


3 


c 


; 


i 


: 


p 





So 


n 


n 


1 


3 


3 


P 


V 


70 


I 1 


« 


n 


1 


4 


s 


P 


So 


1 


3 


1 


fl 


3 


¥ 


I 


oo 


r; 


J 


• 


f 


> 


P 


P 


100 


" 


n 


n 


N 


n 


T 


l 


wo 


i 


1 


c 


2 


f 


V 


fr 


3<» 


3 


1 


1 


J 


n 


n 


Jl 


400 


w 


T 


a 


T 


■s 


j* 


1 


(y») 








a 






D 


(6wl 








1 






: 


(700) 








T 






1 


(*oo) 








n 






f 


(900) 
















the letters, "*en graving" them in his mind. Then he rnusi "carve'* 
them out, making them fill his em in; consciousness. After this, he 
can permute them in various ways. He can also manipulate thera 
through their numerical values and the standard ciphers. 

Another important technique involved meditating on the letters 
by writing them. 1 ' The simplcsi method was to take a word and per- 
muic it in all possible ways. If one used a set system to permute these 
letters, this was called GilguL or "cycling" of the letters. (l In more 
advanced systems, one would also use GemalrU (numerical values) 
and the ciphers TO extend The process. 



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102 SEFER YETZIRAH 

In effect, writing or reciting these letter combinations was very 
much like repeating a mantra. It serves to blank out all thought from 
the mind and allow it to reach a state of Chakhmah consciousness. 
Visualizing the letters is very much like some of the more advanced 
contemplative methods of meditation, and it has a similar effect. 

In all, there are five basic techniques mentioned here. These par- 
allel the five phonetic families discussed in the neat section. i* 



2:3 



pyn bipa ippn tip* mcm« crnm cttpv 
]T03 jrnrw mnpa npnm ns3 jpap mia 
*\*nu otp3 f "-ttd: jurSa mStn -|ra p'a*a 
ttrnsiea 

riwiifMHio Foundation Letters 

He engraved them with voice 

He carved them with breath 

He set them in the mouth 
In five places 

Aie/Chet Heh Eyin fynn«; in the throat (Gutturals) 

Gimei Yud KafKuffpm) in the palate (Palatals) 

Date? let Lamed Nun Tav (rdivr\} 

in the tongue (Linguats) 

Zayin Samekh Shin Resh Tzadi (rum) 

in the teeth (Dentals) 

Bet Vav Stem Peh ftouj in the lips. (Labials) 

He engraved them with voice 

As explained earlier, "engrave** means to sound a letter, while 
**carve" means to express it. Some versions add T **He bound them to 
the tongue like a flame is bound to a burning coal." This is similar 
to an expression used above (1:7). 

In five places 

The division of the letters into five groups is presented here b but 
this is the only time that this is mentioned in Sefer Yetzirah. No 
apparent reason or application for this division is given. 

One hint may come from what we have written above (1:13). The 
three letters of the Name, Yud Heh Vav (n*>, are the first of the 
Twelve Elementals to be found in the first three phonetic families 



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Chapter TWo 



103 



when taken in alphabetical order gutturals, Labials, and palatals. See 
Table 18. 

There are two basic ways in which these families are ordered. 
The first way is that which is presented here, which starts from the 
throat the most internal part of the mouth, and then continues out- 
ward to the lips^ a The second ordering, found in the older commen- 
taries! takes the groupings in alphabetical order J » See Table 19 on 
page 104, 

The most obvious reason for the five phonetic families would be 
so that the divisions of the alphabet should parallel the divisions in 
the five dimensions] continuum defined by Sefer Yetzirah* Indeed* 
the Kabbalists teach that these five groups parallel the Five Loves 
and Five Strengths (see 1:3), which are the end points of these dimen- 
sions, 21 The assignment of these families to specific dimensions, how- 
ever, is not indicated, although it may be derived indirectly. 

It is significant to note that all five families are present in 
Bereshil (n*mra), the first word of the Torah. 13 

One of the mysteries of the Sefer Yetzirah is the fact that the 
double Letters are not mentioned. These double letters are the ones 
which have different forms in the middle and at the end of a word: 
Mem (no), Nun (jj) t Tzadi (r*), Peh {*p\ and Kaf (-p). As the Talmud 
states, the forms of these letters were forgotten, and later re-instituted 
by the prophets. 24 There is absolutely no reference to these doubles 
in Sefer Yetzirah. 

The Kabbalists, however, draw a parallel between the five pho- 
netic families and the five doubled letters. According to the Ari, the 
letters paralleling the phonetic families in the order presented here 
are; Tzadi n Nun, Kaf T Mem, Pen," See Table 20 on page 104. 

Another concept that is conspicuously missing in the Sefer 
Yetzirah is that of the vowels. Here again, they form a group of five, 
the main vowels being Cholam (o) 5 Kametz (a), Tzereh (e), Chirik (i), 
and Shurek (u). See Table 21 on page 104. These are often alluded 
to in the mnemonic Pituchey Chotam (njn'n >nro) T the "signet engrav- 
ing" (Exodus 28:11) of the Bible, 2 * Another mnemonic is 

Table 18. Phonetic division of the alphabet. 





Mothers 


Doubles 


Elementals 


{Finals) 


Gutturals 


w 




prtn 




Labials 


a 


» 


i 


TP 


Palatals 




33 


W 


1 


Unguals 




m 


to 


J 


Dentals 


V 


i 


sror 


r 



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10* SEFER YETZJRAH 

Table 19. Ordering of [he families 





Gra-Ari 


Shan Version 


Donash 


1. 

2. 
3. 
4 r 
5. 


Gutturals pnn» 
Palatals pro 
Unguals ntan 
Dentals xtppt 
Labials *pa 


Gutturals pnntt 
Labials too 
Palatals pro 
Linguals rubtn 
Dentals rnror 


Gutturals 

Labials 

Palatals 

Dentals 
Unguals 


pnnw 
pro 



Tabic 20. Parallel between phonetic families and doubled letierv 



1, 


Gutturals 


ynrw 


Tiadi 


H 


2. 


Palatals 


pro 


Nun 


P 


3. 


Unguals 


nV?cn 


Kaf 


P 


4. 


Dentals 


STVW 


Mem 


00 


1 


Labials 


1B13 


Peh 


■P 



Table 2 1 


. The primary 


vowels. 






1, 


Cholam 







X 


2. 


Kametz 




\ 


x 


3, 


Tzereh 




b 


X 


4. 


Chirik 




1 


X 


5, 


Shuruk 




V 


X 



Table 22. Ordering of the vowels. 




Tikuney Zohar 1 


aeoiu 




Tikuney Zohar 1 


iucoa 


order of Piiuchey Chotam 


Rabbi Elazar Rokeach 3 


uae io 


order of Nutareyikon 


Rabbi Elazar Rokeach* 


aeiou 




Rabbi Abraham Ahulafia* 


qae i u 




Rabbi Jostph Gikaialia* 


o ui ea 




Emek HaMelekh 7 


u aieo 




Rabbi Moshe Cordevero* 


oiuat 





Tikuney Zohar, Introduction {4by 5 (20a). 19 (3&a< 41i). 

Ibid Jniroduction (I4») L 70(JJ5b). 

Commcniary on Seftf Yetiirah 4b- See Pardes Rimtmim 2 1 :2. 

Ibid p lib. 

Or H&Stktttf &:L quoi#d in Pttrdet Rimttmm 2 1 : 1 « 5^f HuSikkud. 

Gittui Egaz 25*. 

Em** HaMtitkh 9c. 

Pard« Rimomm 30:2, 



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Chapter Two 



105 



Table 23. Phonic groups and Serimt, 





An 


Ramak 


Vowel 


Final Letter 


Gutturals yrrru* 


Hod 


Chesed 


i 


Tzadi fx 


Palatals pyj 


Netzach 


Gcvurah 


e 


Nun p 


Linguals rebtn 


Tiferet 


Tiferet 


o 


Kaf -p 


Dentals ttpui 


Gcvurah 


Netzach 


a 


Mem on 


Labials Tola 


Chesed 


Hod 


u 


Pch is 



Nutareyikon {^nm),- 7 Although there are other vowels in Hebrew, 
these five are considered to be the root vowels, both by the 
gramma larians and by the Kabbalists. 

The Zohar clearly draws a paiallel between the five phonetic 
families and the five prime voweK and this is echoed by other 
Kabbalisls, 2 * The five primary vowels would then also represent the 
five dimensions of the Sefer Yetziran. 

In general, the five vowels are very important in the use of the 
Sefer Yetzirah. The usual procedure is to take a pair of letters, pro- 
nouncing them with the twenty-five possible combinations of the five 
vowels. This appears in the system of Rabbi Abraham Abulafla, as 
well in various techniques of making a Golem. There appear, how- 
ever, to be a number of different opinions as to the ordering of the 
vowels, and a few of these are presented in Table 22." 

Some of the later Kabbalists also assign the five phonetic fami- 
lies to the five Sefirot; Chesed, Gevurah, Tiferet, Netzach and Hod. 
Yesod is not included, since, in this respect h Yesod and Tiferet are 
counted as one." Furthermore* Yesod pertains to melody rather than 
to sound. 31 There is, however, a difference of opinion between the 
Ari and the Ramak as to whether the Sefirot are to be taken in 
descending or in ascending order." The five main vowels are also 
assigned to these same Sefirot, 33 See Table 23. 

The first clue as to how to assign these to the five-dimensional con- 
tinuum comes from the ordering of the final letters in the Talmud Mem 
Nun Tzadi Pen Kaf (tb*»). In all sources, both TaLmudk and 
Kabbalistic, the Letters are presented in this order. The correct alphabeti- 
cal order of ihe letters, however would be: Kaf Mem Nun Pch Tzadi 
(FKE2). See fable 24 on page 106. The question then arises: why are these 
letters usually not presented in their alphabetical order? 34 

Earlier (1:3K however, we have spoken of the division of the Ten 
Sefirot into two groups representing the two hands. These are the Five 
Loves and the Five Judgments. In the order of the Sefirot they are: 

Five Loves: Keter, Chakhmah, Chesed, Tiferet, Netzach. 
Five Judgments: Bin ah. Gevurah, Hod, Yesod + Malkhui. 



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lflfl 



SEFER YETZJRAH 



It is immediately obvious that each group represents a set of end points 
in the five-dimensional continuum The pairing in this continuum lk 



Keter-Malkhut 
Chakhmah-Binah 
Chesed-Gevuiah 
Tiferet Yesod 
Netzach-Hod 



Good-Evil 

Past-Future 

South-North 

East-West 

Up-Down 



If we now take the final letters in alphabetical order and Line 
them up with the Five Loves in order, we have the following 
assignment: 



1 Kaf 

□ Mem 

I Nun 

1 Peh 

T Tzadi 



Keter 

Chakhmah 

Chesed 

Tiferet 

Netzach 



{Malkhut) 

(Binah) 

(Gevurah) 

(Yesod) 

(Hod) 



We now must take the Five Strcnglhs as the opposite end points in 
the fi^e-dimensional continuum Placing them in order, we then have: 



Binah 
Gevurah 
Hod 
Yesod 

Malkhut 



-Mem 

-Nun 
-Tzadi 
-Peh 
-Kaf 



Table 24. The correct alphabetical 


order of the letters. 






Final 


Phonetic 




Dimension Sefirot 


Letter 


Family 


Vowel 


Spiritual Keter- Malkhut 


Kaf 


rchan 


o 


Time Chakhmah-Binah 


Mem 


Y"RFOt 


a 


North-South Chesed-Gevurah 


Nun 


pj*l 


e 


East-West Tireret-Yesod 


Peh 


TOO 


u 


Up- Down Netzach-Hod 


Tzadi 


yrtrw 


i 



Table 25. Parallel ordering of the letters, 



Five loves 


Five strengths 


Q 


juken 


a 


Sf Ifc'Ut 


a 


j^iyw 


e 


pyt 


e 


pyi 


i 


jrmw 


u 

L 


yrmw 


u 
o 


ruSm 



Copyrighted material 



Chapter TWo 107 

This is the precise order in which these letter* are usually pre- 
sented, and this hardly appears to be coincidental. Also significant is 
the fact that the Ari states that the usual order MNTzFKh ("[two) 
only applies to these letters when they parallel the Five Strengths. 
When they relate to the Five Loves, they are in direct alphabetical 
order. 35 See Table 25. 

Since each of the final letters represents one of the phonetic fam- 
ilies, these can also be assigned to their appropriate dimension. 

In relating the five primary vowels to these phonetic families, 
the Zohar presents them in the order i u e o a, this being the order 
that they appear in PiTuCneY ChoTaM (nrfh 'nri*^ 6 Since the Zohar 
here presents the phonetic families in alphabetical order, a parallel 
can immediately be drawn: 

Gutturals pnriH i Chirik 

Labials *pn u Shurek 

Palatals pyj e Tiereh 

Linguals rubui o Cholam 

Denials mm a Kametz 

We now have three groups of five: the phonetic families, the final 
letters, and the primary vowels. AJJ these can be related to the five 
dimensions. 

As all ihe sections, this one can also be read in the imperative, 
providing an important technique. The text then says, "Engrave them 
with voice, carve them with breath, and set them in the mouth in 
five places," 

The instruction is to carefully pronounce each letter of these five 
families. This is "engrave them with voice*" Then one must "carve 
them with breath," contemplating each letter carefully, and concen- 
trating on the breath that is exhaled while it is pronounced* Finally, 
one must "set them in the mouth," meditating on the place in the 
mouth with which the letter is pronounced. 

In this exercise* each family may also be pronounced with its 
appropriate vowel. This yields a chant that can be used for this exer- 
cise. See Table 26 on page 10S, 

The purpose of this exercise is to make the initiate highly aware 
of the physical processes involved in pronouncing the letters. While 
speech itself involves Binah consciousness, the pronunciation of the 
letters is an automatic activity, and hence, it involves Chakhmah 
consciousness. 

With this exercise, the initiate Learns to make use of the letters 
with Chakhmah consciousness. By pronouncing them physically, he 
then clothes them in Binah. It is through this exercise that he learns 
to use the letters as "paths of Wisdom" 



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IC8 SEFER VETZIRAH 

Table 26. A chanl utilizing the five phonetic families 



A Cha Ha T A 


f iris 


Ge Ye Ke Ke 


pj:? 


Do To Lo No To 


n j \ o n 


Zi Si Shi Ri Tzi 


if t r D T 


Bu Vu Mu Pu 





In the first section of this chapter, the two Mothers, Mem and 
Shin, were used as an exercise to oscillate between Chakhmah and 
Binah consciousness. The second section presented an exercise 
involving the pronunciation and permutation of letters, making them 
fill the entire mind. Now we have a third exercise, where one medi- 
tates on the physical processes involved in pronouncing the letters, 
drawing all of them into Chakhmah consciousness. 

Once this has been mastered, the initiate is ready to embark on 
the more advanced techniques involving the 231 Gates, 



2:4 



j*a:> hibiz ]vip to* nv/iw crnpi o»i^ 
-unto d^u SiSirr ntni cnptf k'Vu rtam 



7wfnfy-fiw Foundation Letters: 
Me placed them in a circle 

iike a wail with 231 Gates. 
The Circle oscillates back and forth. 
A sign for this is: 

There is nothing in good higher than Delight 
(Oneg—vp) 

There is nothing evti iower than Plague (Nega—yn)^ 



In a circle 

The word for "circle" here is Galgal. This can also be translated 
as "sphere" or "cycle." Later, the Sefer Yetzirah speaks of the Gaigal 
again, saying, "The cycle [galgat) in the year is like a king in the pro- 
vence" (6:3), 



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Chapter Two 109 

The first chapter spoke of the 32 paths of Wisdom, As discussed 
there (1:1), the number 32, when written out, spells Lev, meaning 
"heart." The text later speaks of the mystical experience by saying, 
"If your heart runs" (1:8). It also warns, "Bridle your. , . heart from 
thinking" <1;8), 

The first chapter thus speaks of one aspect of kingship, which is 
the heart. As the text later says, "The heart in the soul is like a king 
in war" {6:3). The heart therefore dominates the continuum of the 
spiritual. Now, in the second chapter, the text is turning to a second 
aspect of kingship, the Cycle (galgaf), which dominates time. 

In general, if a number of points are placed in a circle, the num- 
ber of possible lines that can connect any pair of points can be easily 
calculated. If we let n be the number of points, and L the number of 
lines, the formula is: 

L«n(n- 1V2 

TaJte the number t multiply it by the number below it T and divide by 
two. 

Thus, three points in a circle can be joined by three lines, four 
points by six lines, five points by ten lines, and si* points by fifteen 
lines- See figure 1 7 on page 1 10, A given number of points can always 
be joined by the number of lines provided by the above formula. 

The number of lines that can connect the 22 letters placed in a 
circle is therefore (22 x 2 1 )/2. See figure 1 $ on page 1 1 L Making the 
calculation, we find that there are 231 such lines- These are the 231 
Gates. 



Like a mil!.., 

This can also be read in the imperative: "Place them in a circle, 
like a wall with 231 gates." 

The Kabbalists present an important meditation regarding these 
gates. 37 This is based on a text in the first chapter "Engrave them 
like a garden* carve them like a wall, deck them like a ceiling" 
(1:11). 

The initiate must contemplate the ground, visualizing it as 
murky black mud. He must then "engrave" the 22 letters, forming 
each one in his mind. These should make a circle in the ground. 

Then he must "carve them like a wall." He must "carve** each 
letter out of the ground and stand each one up, making a circle of 
letters, surrounding him like a wall. One of the major Kabbalists, 
Rabbi Isaac of Acco, speaks of a similar meditation, where the letters 
are visualized on the horizon,** 



Copyrighted material 



IIii 



SEFEF YETZIRAH 





3 Points 
3 Lino 



4 Points 
6 Lines 





3 Pginis 
l - Lines 



6 Points 
15 Lints 





7 Points S Points 

21 Lines 28 Lines 

Figure 17. Lines connecting points in a circle. 



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Chapter Two 



111 




^^>^^S^*^?!*v^>^V *■ </ A 




f j^rr ^. 7Af 231 Gates. 




Figure 19. 22 points, 231 tines. The 231 tines connecting the 22 letters 
arc the 231 Gates, 



Copyrighted material 



np PT Tp pi f b ip pp 


PI |0 DT- 


S3 


T *o an 


IT 


ti m m 


"U U3K 


m pp ~nf pB pp no 


Pi TO I s ? 


23 


S* fO Tl 


&. 


m n rr 


m T3 «e 


np pt tb pp f>P 


ip pa pS 


P 


o* So 71 


i: 


01 m n 


u np TK 


TO PB Tp PP 


pj *p pS 


S3 


|* DP Sn 


"' 


m on m 


ti is n« 


ra pp tp 


pira tS 


V3 


P* yo On 


S- 


Tp >i or 


m ia w 


jtp pd 


iipo & 


15 


p> do pi 


3: 


Si 71 h 


01 ns m 


JTO 


pj id p 1 ? 


^ 


f po on 


P 


di Sn tt 


n 03 rw 




jupa T.S 


"S3 


r iojm 


pi 


n on St 


-|1 *a OH 




nopS 


"*3 


p* po T 1 


VI 


01 jn or 


Si 13 •« 




nb 


S3 


T pO ftl 


T 


pi sn p 


oi Sa th 






H3 


p* to pn 


r 


■ji pn pt 


11 03 Sh 








n* po in 


p. 


p in pr 


pi p OH 








no in 


t 


pifn <p 


pi oa ]k 








rn 




-npn n 
pi Tn fH 
nipn Ti 


Ti pa oh 
fi "ppw 

pi r^TK 

ti pa pa 
m ia pit 
niva tm 

ns 



Figure 


20. 


The 231 Gates in a 


triangutar 


orra> 


, Logical Methtxl. 


1 


n 


P 


T 


? 


* 


3 


V 


o 


3 


■•3 


s 


3 


h 


a 


r, 


T 


T 


n 


n 


J 3 « 


2 


r- 


P 


3 





5 


3 


G 


r 


T 


J 


X 


P 


P 


3 





.3 


3 


3 


f 


n J rt 


3 


-1 


3 


3 


J 


T 


n 


3 


P 


y 


D 


s 


=? 


' 


: 


n 


P 


V 


.3 


i 


r t h 


4 


P 


P 


5 


: 


J 


P 


3 








r 


« 


x 


3 


3 


r 


1 


p 


3 


a 


n n 


5 


y 





n 


1 


-1 


c 


1 


n 


n 


3 


s 


: 


3 


p 


: 


□ 


7 


P 


V 


a 1 h 


6 


3 


3 


T 


p 


C 





3 


P 


Q 


T 


i< 


3 


3 


T 


P 








1 


P 


1 K 


7 


" 





3 


3 


* 


; 


y 


3 


T 


P 


s 


^ 


T 


72 


1 


P 


: 


r 


n 


p n w 


5 


3 


r 


P 


a 


r 


P 


3 


3 


3 


□ 


it 





' 


P 


71 


T 


P 


3 


1 


K 


9 


: 


T 


y 





n 


.3 


i 


3 


n 


P 


s 


1 


> 


^ 


1 


D 


D 





1 


p * ee 


10 


3 


: 


a 


n 


D 


T 


p 


C 


p 


3 


Ji 


a 


1 


P 


n 


s 


r 


p 





V 3 K 


11 


s 


tf 


S 


*t 


s 


K 


s 


f< 


S 


K 


s 


« 


s 


S 


s 


M 


s 


t< 


s 


H *} K 


12 


3 


P 


b 


P 


T 


& 


7 





3 


3 


« 


5 


p 





" 


' 


3 


n 





3 H 


13 


* 


-> 


1 








3 


"I 


T 


J? 


: 


s 


p 


n 


3 


1 


S 


n 


□ 


* 


n j k 


14 


a 


3 


; 


3 


P 


r. 


.3 


P 


: 


c 


K 


□ 


3 


1 


3 


1 


T 


3 


p 


T K 


15 


-1 


- 


r 


r 


] 


p 


i 


3 


T 


71 


s 


P 


i 


5 


* 


3 


i 


5 


3 


P K 


16 


' 


C 


? 


i 





D 


P 


T 


a 


5 


K 


f 


3 


P 


J 





5 


P 


T 


3 JJ K 


17 


* 


3 


V 


p 


T 


Q 


3 


P 


3 


h 


s 


5 


n 


7 


- 


? 


■" 


: 


n 


a v ft 


18 


n 





c 


p 


p 


: 


r 


3 


p 


■) 


N 


1 


a 


3 


3 


S f 


3 


■ 


3 


D p K 


19 


T 


: 


i 


c 


y 


P 


n 


; 


T 


~ 


s 


C 


Y 


;/ 


3 


7 


T 


3 


j 


3 T K 


20 


J 


n 


: 


c 


3 


a 


D 


3 


P 


P 


H 


s 


n 


T 


3 


5 


O 


t 


3 


P P K 


21 


3 


1 


l 


n 


1 


r 


n 





> 


2 


h 


c 


J 





r 


3 


* 


.7 


1 


p n « 



Figure 2 1 . Initial array used in the Kabbaiisu'c Method. 



Copyrighted material 



ChapttrTwo 111 

Next, the initiate must "deck them like a ceiling. 1 ' He must imag- 
ine the 231 lines connecting Ihc 22 letters, and depict them like a 
Ceiling over his head. 

Once he has completed this exercise, he is ready to make use of 
ihe circle. If he wishes to use it to create, he must proceed in direct 
order, beginning with the Alef. Focusing the mind on the Alef, he 
then follows each of the 21 paths emanating from it to the other let- 
ter*, from Bet to Tav, He continues in this manner, using all the other 
letters See figure 19 on page 111. 

According to some, this is also a technique for making a Golem. 
If one wishes to destroy it, one proceeds in the precise opposite direc- 
tion, beginning with Tav, and ending with Aieph. 

Some commentaries present a more primitive method, where the 
initiate actually draws a circle around the object that he wishes to 
form." Proceeding in a circle, he chams the letter combinations, first 
Alef with all the other letters, then Bet, until the alphabet is com- 
pleted. If one wishes lo destroy the creation, he proceeds in the oppo- 
site direction. 

It is also related that the disciples of the Riva" attempted to use 
the Sefer Yetzirah to make a creature* They went in the wrong direction, 
however, and sunk in the earth up to their waists through the power of 
the letters. Trapped, they cried out for help. The Riva was finally con- 
tacted, and he told his other disciples to recite the alphabets while pro- 
ceeding in the opposite direction, until the others were freed. - " 

There is some question as to whether "proceeding" here means 
thai one should actually walk around the circle, or whether it means 
that one must merely move around it mentally and meditatively. 



With 231 Gales 

The number 231 represents the number of ways in which two 
different letters of the Hebrew alphabet can be connectedH This num- 
ber also is the number of two Letter words thai can be formed with 
the Letters, provided the same letter is not repeated* and provided 
that order is not considered. These combinations may be arranged in 
a triangle. 42 

This first method is called the Logical Method (figure 20). 
Besides this, there is also a Kabbalistic Method {figure 21), which is 
somewhat more complex/ 3 

In the Kabbalistic Method, one begins by writing the entire 
Hebrew alphabet, from Alef to Tav. On the second line, one writes 
every other letter, ending with Shin. One then skips the Tav and 
begins once again with Alef The sequence therefore repeats itself. 



Copyrighted material 



114 



SEFER VETZCRAH 



JTP 


T 


YS 


VO 


22 


^ 


'O 


n? 


T| 


-; 


3H 


vp 


ro 


23 


ff 


13 


Xff 


■3D 


02 


30 


ri 


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"to 


a 


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iff 


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75 


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73 


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Figure 22 The 23 1 Gates according to the Ktibbaluric Method. 






1 


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Fitfvrr 2 J. 4 number array resembling the mifiat array used in (he 
Ktibbulisth Methtni. 

In the third line, one writes every third letter, in the fourth, every 
fourth Letter, continuing until the 21 lines have been completed. One 
then has the initial array. 

The eleventh line is particularly interesting. Since 22 is divisible 
by eleven, the two letters* Alef and Lamed t repeat themselves for the 
entire line. 



Copyrighted material 



Chapter Two 115 

The next step is to take the arra\ and break it into pairs. This 
yields 21 lines and 1 I columns, producing a total of 231 pairs. These 
are the 23 L Gates according to the Kabbalistic Method. See figure 22. 

This system is actually not as complex as it first appears. To 
understand it more thoroughly, we can take a similar array, using the 
numbers from to 9 instead of letters. 

It is quite simple to make such an array. See figure 23. In the 
first line, one merely counts from to 9, In the second line, one 
counts by two, As soon as we reach 10 t we merely use the last digit. 
In the third line, we do the same, counting by three and using only 
the final digit. The rest of the array is formed using subsequent 
numbers. 

What we actually have then is a simple multiplication table, 
where only the last digits have been retained. Gearly obvious in this 
array is the diagonal symmetry, which is also found in the alphabeti- 
cal array. 

The fifth line is particularly significant. When one counts by 5 T 
one obtains the numbers 5, 10, 15, 25 T and so on. Therefore, when 
only the Jast digits are taken, 5 and alternate on this line. The same 
is true of the eleventh line in the alphabetical array, where the Alef 
and the Lamed alternate. 

One then divides the array into double columns, to form a 
numerical analogue of the 231 Gates. The only difference is that 
when working with the alphabet, we are, in effect, using a number 
base of 22 H See figure 24 on page 1 1 6. 

One thing that is immediately apparent is the fact that even 
though we obtain 45 pairs, they do not correspond exactly to the 45 
unique pairs that can be obtained from 10 digits* See figure 15 on 
page 1 16, We actually find that 14 pairs are missing, while an equal 
number are repeated, The most glaring example of this is the repeti- 
tion of the combination 05, which occurs five times. Another 
redundancy is 80, which is merely the reverse of OS. 

Just as one can begin each sequence from Alef so one can also 
begin it from Bet. One would then have a similar array, with each line 
beginning with a Bet instead of an Alef. Each letter of the Bet array 
would be one higher than the corresponding letter in the Alef array. One 
can make similar arrays with ail the letters of the alphabet. 

Very important is the eleventh line, when* the letter pairs repeat 
themselves. In the Alef arra>, the letters Alefand Lamed repeat them- 
selves in this line. In the Bet array, the letters Bet and Mem will 
repeat themselves. As subsequent arrays are constructed, the repeat- 
ing letters continue lo conform to those in the ALBaM (no "w> cipher. 
See figure 26 on page 1 1 6, 



Copyrighted material 



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56 57 58 59 








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Figure 26. The ALBaM cipher. 



Copyrighted material 



Chapter Two 117 

This holds true until one reaches the Kaf array, where the letters 
Kaf and Tav repeat, tn the Lamed array* the letters AJel and Lamed 
repeat so thai this is the reverse of the AJef array. The repeating let- 
ters in the subsequent arrays are the reverse of those in the first 
eleven arrays. 

Therefore, there are eleven arrays where the eleventh line has the 
pairs in the ALBaM sequence repeating. The next eleven arrays have 
their reverse repeating. 

A number of somewhat similar arrays are used by the later 
Kabbalists/ 4 Instead of using the Kabbalistic Method, however, they 
merely skip a number of letters in the second column, and then 
proceed with the alphabet in its usual order, ft is not clear if these 
later Kabbalists did this so as to conceal the true method, or if it 
actually represents a completely different procedure. See figure 27 on 
page MS. 

According to either procedure, there are eleven arrays in which 
the pairs represented by ALBaM are dominant. Then, there are 
another eleven arrays where the reverse of these pairs are 
dominant. 

The first eleven arrays are said to represent the eleven Seflrot 
when the quasi-Sefirah Daat (Knowledge) is also included. The 
sequence is: Keter, Chakhmah, Binah n Daat. Chesed, Gevurah, 
Tiferet, Netzach, Hod, Yesod t Malkhut 

The first eleven arrays, where the pairs of ALBaM are in direct 
order, represent the "front** of these eleven SefiraL The second set of 
eleven, where these pairs are reversed, represent the "back" of the 
Seflrot, These arrays are presented in Appendix HI. 

Although the Sefer Yetzirah says, "Ten and not eleven" (l;4) p 
this is only speaking of the inner essence of the Sefirot. When we 
speak of their representation as letter arrays, we are speaking of their 
outer essence, and here Daat (Knowledge) is also counted, making 
eleven,** 

These arrays are very important in binding oneself to the Sefirot. 
They are also used in the creation of a Golem, 

According to the early Kabbalists, the 231 Gates are alluded to 
in the name Israel. 4 * In Hebrew, Israel is spelled YiSRAeL Confer*). 
These letters can also spell out YeSh RLA f«Vi ir) t which literally 
means, "there are 231." 

The Mid rash states that at the beginning of creation, "Israel rose 
in t hough t.* , " T The name "Israel" thus alludes to the fact that creation 
took place through these 231 Gates, According to the later 
Kabbalists, these 231 gates are what remained in the Vacated Space 
that preceded creation^* 

When the Sefer Yetzirah speaks of the ^32 Paths of Wisdom/ it 
uses the word N&tiv for "path." The numerical value of Nativ {zwi) 



Copyrighted material 



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Figure 27. 7Jfce 2 J/ Grif.t ticwrdinj* to the later Kabbalists. This is she 
Alt?/ array corresponding to Keter. (Note how the tetters of rhe Tetra- 
grammaum spefied out, are lined up with the tines.) 

is 462, exactly twice 231, Since each of the 231 Gates contains two 
letters, there are a toial of 462 tetters in each array. 49 It is therefore 
evident that the "Paths of Wisdom" aie related to these arrays. In 
some versions of Sefer Yeteiiah, the actual reading is "462 
Gates,"* 

There is, however, a very ancient tradition which reads 22 J 
Gates rather than 231, il This is the reading favored by Rabbi Eliezer 
Rokeach of Wonnes, who learned it by tradition from Rabbi 
Ychudan HaChasid," See figure 28. 

The Kabbalists note that this number is based on the Talrnudic 
teaching that in the Future World, King David's cup will hold 22 1 mea* 
sures," This is based on the verse, "You have annointed my head 
with oil, my cup is overflowing" (Psalms 23:5). Tn Hebrew, 
"overflowing" is Rei-ayah (mn|, which has a riumerica] vaJue of 221. 

The term Revayah is later used by Sefer Yctzirah to denote the 
"temperate" season, paralleling the letter Alef (3:5. 1), Just as Lhe Alcf 
serves as the intermediate between Shin and Mom. these arrays might 



Copyrighted material 



Chapter Jlw 



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Figure 28. The 22 i Gates arcordmg to Rabbi Etiezar Rokeath of 
Wormes (1160-1237). 

serve as a means of transition between Binah and Chakhmah 
consciousness. 

Also significant ts the context of this teaching. The beginning of 
This verse is. "You have annoimed my head with oil." This alludes 
to the feeling of being bathed in oil which is frequently encountered 
during the mystical experienced Attaining such an experience is 
therefore associated with these 221 Gates, 

The number 221 is also significant as being the product of two 
primes, 17 and 1 3. The numbers can therefore be placed in a unique 
array. 

This system follows logically from the Kabbalistic Method dis- 
cussed earlier In the array produced by this method, the uvo tetters, 
Alef and Lamed, are repeated eleven times. Since this is a single com- 
bination, such repetition is redundant. In Eliezer Rokcach's system, 
the Alef-Lamed pair is used only once. Since ten such pairs are omit- 
ted, instead of 231 Gates, one is Left with 221, 

Similar arra\s can be made beginning with the other letters. 
These are presented in Appendix III. 



Copyrighted material 



120 



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Figure 29. Abutajia's array of the 231 Gates. 



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Figure JO. Numerical analogue ofAbufafias array. 

Another important representation of the 23 1 Gates is that of 
Rabbi Abraham Abulaiia. Ji This is somewhat like the Logical Array, 
but it is set in a rectangle, with the upper right side arranged, so as 
to fill in the missing letters (figure 29). The structure is discernable 
when otic studies its numerical analogue (figure 30). Dose examina- 
tion shows some redundancy in this array. Certain combinations are 



Copyrighted material 



Chapter 7hw 



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Figure 31 Abultijta'x array modified to remove redtmdumies. 



01 


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F/ffurf J2 . Numerical analogue afAhuhfia's array modified 10 remove 
redutidatnie\ r 

repeated, while others are omitted- This array can be modified, how- 
ever, so that its redundancies are removed and all combinations are 
represented. See figure 31 and figure 32. 

Even with ihe redundancies removed, however, the extreme left 
column is anomalous and complex. This anomaly can be removed. 



Copyrighted material 



i:: 



SEFER VETZIRAH 



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> 


ol* 


y 


n 


r 


pn 


"»"* 


r: 


na 


3N 


cS 


:z 


o* 


>'3 


51 


r 


- 1 


"ir 


rn 


TO 


1W 


^ 


02 


T 


32 


yn 


" 


-ii 


w-rr 


m 


J3 


"W 


JQ 


pS 


V2 


S 1 


y= 


P- 


-r 


v'l 


m 


13 


nw 


DO 


v u - 


DZ 


V 1 


P= 


nn 


VT 


J- 1 


13 


13 


w 


W 


yo 


sS 


i-; 


P 1 


is 


.„« 


rr. 


^13 


'3 


(W 


P3 


50 


r> 


P2 


"i 1 


PS 


rr 


T 


13 


O 


TO 


JTO 


SJ 


2fO 


P L - 


">3 


«, 


na 


,_ * 


rj 


13 


em 


mo 


yj 


->o 


-ft 


P2 


n h 


^ 


— 


TO 


ca 


*« 


up 


sc 


-; 


10 


"■S 


na 


- 


-' 


03 


'3 


3* 


tp 


■SC 


^; 


t\o 


^ 


* 


rn 


0- 


'J 


aa 


^ 


IB 


?y 


"-C 


c; 


re 


-' 


vr. 


h_ 


=u 


^a 


aw 


pu 


"•V 


CT 


r: 


T 


3" 


-- 


3" 


n; 


~a 


;« 


P* 


^& 


S*V 


ro 


0: 


" 


a* 


^ 


OJ 


:a 


OH 


TS 


£3 


ny 


ur 


v 


y 


^ 


2- 


a 


sa 


p« 


T 


tri- 


rs 


T 


2' 


■^ 


01 


:- 


SJ 


ya 


AN 


wp 


ry 


*o 


ar 


s- 


~- 


" 


" 


VJ 


ra 


*M 


en 


•T 


23 


■■?: 


or 


r 


5r: 


jr 


33 


ya 


PN 


jrt 


r 


So 


-2 


i: 


s- 


t ;i 


S** 


W 


"52 


TK 


nc 


v 


35 


:a 


& 


?' 


£1 


jr 


^ 


^a 


PH 


^3 


0* 


ya 


si 


W 


s n - 


1M 


i" 


"»i 


pa 


JUt 



Figure J J. Abuhfitt** array mttdified ttttd simplified. 



OL 


19 


28 


37 


46 


02 


29 


38 


47 


56 


03 


12 


39 


4* 


57 


04 


13 


44 


5* 


67 


05 


34 


23 


5<i 


6S 


06 


15 


24 


^ 


78 


07 


16 


25 


34 


79 


08 


17 


26 


35 


89 


09 


18 


27 


36 


45 



Figure 34 Numerical attait/gue af Ahulajitt' a wm/v modified and simpli- 
fied 

and the array is then further simplified, See figures 33 and 34, 

The number 23 1 represents the total number of combinations 
of two letters. The number of combinations of three letters is L540. 
Rabbi Abraham Abulafia note* that this is equal to 22 times 70, The 
number 70 represents the 70 primary languages. If each of these Ian- 



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Chapter Two 



123 



Table 27. Combinations of letters. 






Letters Combinations 


Letters 


Combinations 


L 


II 


705,432 


I 22 


12 


646,646 


2 231 


13 


479,420 


3 l b 540 


14 


319,770 


4 7,315 


15 


170,544 


5 26,334 


16 


74,613 


6 74,613 


17 


26,334 


7 170,544 


IS 


7,315 


8 319,770 


19 


1,540 


9 479,420 


20 


231 


10 646,646 


21 


22 




22 


L 



guages had an alphabet of 22 letters, there would be a total of 1 540 
Letters." 

In general the number of combinations of n letters is given by 
the formula: 

C - 22!/[fi!(22-n)!J, 

Values of the numbers from zero to 22 are provided in Table 27. 



There is nothing in good higher than Delight,,, 

This is because the Bible refers to the most direct experience of 
God using the word "delight" {Oneg). It is thus written. "Then you 
will delight upon God" (Isaiah 5S:14). S? 




Figure 35. The ward next* if obtained from Oneg hy notation. 



Copyrighted material 



124 SEFER YETZIRAH 

The word for "plague," Nega (pu). is obtained from Oneg (m) by 
simple rotation. The term Nega denoted especially a leprosy like 
plague, which was a sign of disapproval by God. See figure 35 od 
page 123, 

Jn an earlier section (1:13), we discussed how permutations such 
as these can result in opposite*. 

A very similar permutation is presented by the Kabbalists. The 
highest spiritual Level to which one can aspire is the Sefirah of Keter 
(Crown ) r The further one climbs, however, the more ratified the 
atmosphere, and the greater the spiritual danger. By a simple permu- 
tation, the word Keter (tto) becomes Karet (rro), the Hebrew word 
for excision, where a person is completely cut off spiritually, 31 

One of the early 10th century mystics, Hai Gaon, noted thai 
many people who embarked on the mysteries were successful h but 
then met with untimely death. M The higher the climb, the more dan- 
gerous the falL 

A person would not attempt to climb a dangerous mountain 
without the proper training and equipment. Any novice who would 
attempt a climb without an experienced guide would be courting dis- 
aster. Climbing spiritual heights can be equally dangerous. One needs 
the proper training and mental equipment, as well as an experienced 
spiritual guide. 



2:5 



op o^w> dSis djt '« pom fypw js-nr i*>d 
rrvbn rmnrn '2 ay o^idi otu op 'a « 
iuin hoi -wn hi nyq3i o'tjkp k*S-g mwitttii 

:-m« DPO K*V 



Hon? 

He permuted them, weighed them, and transformed them. 
Ale f with them all 

and all of them with Aief 
Bet with them all 

and all of them with Bet. 
They repeat in a cycie 

and exist in 231 Gates. 
It comes out that all that is formed 
and ail that is spoken 
emanates from one Name. 



Copyrighted material 



Chapter Two 113 

One Name 

According to the Kabbalists, this Name is me Tetragrammaton T 
VHVH (rrrr»). Each letter must be permuted with the Tetragramma- 
ton in an appropriate manner 

The technique for doing this is outlined by Rabbi Eliezer 
Rokeach of Wormes, particularly in the context of creating a 
Golem.* This brings us to some of the most powerful meditative 
techniques of the Sefor Ycizirah. 

When one is working wiih a letter, he must combine that letter with 
the letters of the Tetragrammaton, using all five vowels. 

Thus, for example, if one were using the Alef T one would begin 
by combining it with the Yud of the Tetragrammaton, using all five 
vowels, See figure 36 on page 126. There is, however, some question 
as to how one is to go about this. From the words of Rabbi Eliezar 
Rokeacn, it would appear that one simply makes use of all the vowels 
in sequence: 

AuYuAaYaAiYiAeYeAoVo *k *k '« ;« w 

As discussed earlier, there is some question regarding the 
sequence of ihe five primary vowels (2- 3). There are at least a half 
dozen dilTerem opinions If the proper sequence is crucial, much dan- 
gerous experimentation would have to be done to determine the 
proper sequence. It is possible, however, that the sequence is not 
overndingly important. 

In any event, following the system of Rabbi Eliezer Rokeach, the 
initiate must then proceed in this manner, completing all four Letters 
of the Tetragrammaton. One can proceed in the same manner using 
any other letter of the alphabet. 

The initiate continues in this manner, pronouncing all the letters 
in the array of the 221 (or 231) Gates, 

Since Alefis the letter associated with the thorax the entire Alef 
array would pertain to this pari of the body. Ncxi the initiate would 
proceed to the head n for which he would use the Shin array, as 
explained below (3:9), He would form an array of the 221 Gates 
where every line begins with a Shin. He would then continue in this 
manner through all the parts of the body, using the letters that the 
Sefer Yctzirah associates with each part. 

For each letter, one must go through the entire sequence of 221 
(or 231) Gates. Each such sequence contains 442 letters, and there- 
fore, in completing all 22 letters of ihe alphabet, one will have made 
use of 4862 letters. Each of these letters will have been pronounced 
with the five primary vowels and the four letters of the Tetragram ma- 



Copy righted material 



126 



SEFER YETZIRAH 



Alef 




AuYu AaYa AiYi AeYe AoYo 
AuHu AaHa AiHi AeHe AoHo 
AuVu AaVa AiVi AeVe AoVo 
AuHu AaHa AiHi AeHe AoHo 


He *k *k y& jw 

lit ™ rw W TK 
V W Witt IK 

rtoc hk rtx ni* nx 


Bet 




BuYu BaYa BiYi Be Ye BoYo 
BwHu BaHa BiHi BeHe BoHo 
BuVu BaVa BiVi BeVe BoVo 
fiuHu BaHa BiHi BeHe BoHo 


>a >a ^a ja *a 

Ha its nana na 
in n u a a 

-- ■ ' PP s% 

na na na na na 



Figure 36. The sequence for Alef and Bet. 



putt mfr wb A c tiri' wpj poipn 

icsj iph caw nfti itoi ^ in 'j to n*jv 
hb a*roi infrp jtt c*;pn o'jto jtsi piw 
pi nm i;» ft t» pun ™b oilw wt jiu 
Mp-sp np*b u p'l , to j rvptoJ '3 Vuna 
, CD oih nj ">5n Wp o^n oipiw rbins 
Jwnrfl obi: pput crn cm icun in-i 
■wo to o->r& n-:n bp did' j fabfa l£ai 
niSD wi 1 "3PP3 n"ifij j/kb *»n to ul 
h tran toh* mln rn D>nm liabjjn 

3'frp tol ft OflfflS OPS D.f> 0Vll)il f) t> b b B 

wh toi 'j pi o yW D'nhi to ^fs pi 
: tnm» ppu* torn u laitf mnj 



Figure 37. Instructions for making a Goiem. from Rabbi Eiiezar 
Rvkemh's commentary on Sefer Yetzirah, 

ton, a total of twenty pronunciations for each Letter. This means that 
the entire exercise makes use of 97,240 pronunciations. Assuming 
that one can pronounce four syllables a second, it would take approx- 
imately seven hours to complete this entire process. 

The method of creating a Golem is outlined by Rabbi Eliczer 
Rokeach in his commentary on Sefer Yetziiah, and presented in 



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Chapter tnu 



ill 



rtta-m'iaO Vrariry up a>™ fl^i*"' MffN m-m 

imp rtm 'is ntpw «' V* Wttfra »^n iuti j "h^jh *U# 

i* -■ i« M- w mma lrfwfti- iTm r i» J ■ nWca 

\n TTUTi.tDcnitf oa: iT'Tniri^ ^ *■ i* ,u I* 
■-):■ r'ii r i* -.* n '" VJ ""* H ' if *"P' ^ rufe^iTP 

B^iii *^-)P rrm^nm e"MllV(V* Iff pa^f-v V" 
vm -piiY* ■OO*. 1 * rvTT-.i >1D Sji rrffttjft ha D ■ M>3 

■■paiaa'QtJB^pi-iSa j» lamT-nNuK-u-iri'mTi:*" 



i"**fri ptJf ip •mttffi" wnrt niT(i gp 
'fiJW40litau-K-va'DQic n M.nicjre a i ai lh jiipjj 
pV b» [Too it rwui mun btoji D-unr ^ :o'p* 

frtfl *» D»Tl dSo ' J "tL1BJ^lT' 4, JflSft"pil , *Tl3Pk^J l * 

tti-wOt^ "mtii !*■*■■ • ■ tna'ij-unrwafla 
*p'i*i -j rjiWOrrS* anatn^i mirf" aJ On *** 

*i t -im if "■ y'rtrtr * la'ntr * 1*™*'''.'! F^jp Eft 

'n tm pp ™ it« y j"ppn p^n "w if* Pr ^Vn n-n^ 
^ jS **i *iiHi tlt pr j'nim -nin or *rm .Tin pe^ a* 

tfi3 ftfBPP^* afR]'Wr|P| if J 1PE71 TC JflTtllT 

|n a* ^in ■ pp.n ^i' a^r^a nni* iwn am rjj™ 
ft*T JW3 »i-n"i 'PJn flfm iip "wen Y" iwrciFJi >*i 
'ppwflt yiv>Hi -wha-M-mp t> f ^\ V \irt* '» wn^ti 
ft ^n* ^iin r P"vi ^yrwji- CO (*w <j-wi a-fn iit 
fp 'Wj-yrt pj-r^i " p'j.iyinn , anFwn*3| 
pT^t^cr Ft#P•aPH*lp^|'^f■D , *p ■"n'tpar 
PTt jT ln» tti' J csr SuVl Sit* r n pe h Y ■ * So* 

D3DTl"t>SnD ' jm ' "'jiSj'l^W P^S'UfBP 

''iiai i9v incr mr r Uoi pip" p Fyif V «7 Jf 

'FtPfl p rjfffl D"3*D Jr/1 31 fWi IfJ-VHtU.lfllbJ'JU'l 



Figure 38. Instrurrifins fnr making u Golem from tmek HaMelekh. 

somewhat gfeater detail by the author of Etnek HaMelekh (Depths of the 
KJng), 111 See figure 37 on page 126 and figute 38. An initiate should not 
do it alone, but should always be accompanied by one or two colleagues. 
The Goiem must be made of vinjin soil, taken from a place where no 
man has ever dug. The soil must be kneaded with pure spring water, 
taken directly from the ground. If this water is placed in any kind of 
vessel t it can no longer be used- The people making (he Golem must pur- 
ify themselves totally before engaging in this activity, both physically and 
spiritually. While making the Golem, they must wear dean white 
vestments. 

These authors also stress that one must not make any mistake or 
error in the pronunciation. They do not say what must be done tf one 
errs, but from other sources, it would appear thai at very least, one 
would have to begin the array from the beginning. During this entire 
procedure, no interruption whatsoever may occur. 

These authors also intimate that they are only revealing the out- 
line of the method, and are not presenting it in its entirety. This also 
appears evident from other sources. 

There is also evidence that creating a Golem was primarily not 
a physical procedure, but rather, a highly advanced meditative tech- 
nique, 6I By chanting the appropriate letter arrays together with the 
letters of the Tetragrammaton, the initiate could form a very real 
mental image of a human being, limb by limb. This possibly could 
be used as an astral body, through which one could ascend to the 
spiritual realms. 



Copyrighted material 



i:« 



SEFER VETZIRAH 



The formation of such a spiritual body, however, would also 
result in a tremendous spiritual potential. Once the conceptual 
Golem was completed* this spiritual potent iaJ could he transferred to 
a clay form and actually animate it. This was the process through 
which a physical Golem would be brought to life. 

In introducing this method, the Sefer Yeiztrah said, "Engrave 
them like a garden, carve them like a wall, deck them like a ceiling" 
( 1 : 1 1 }. There is some question as to what role this meditation plays 
in the technique of making a Golem, According to some early 
sources, one must proceed in a circle around the creature that one is 
creating. This might refer to the mental structuring or this "garden," 
"wall,™ and "ceiling," before the Golem is formed. 



Pronunciation with the Yud (>): 




AoYo AoYa AoYe AoYi 


AoYu 


ift *N jtt jtt *tt 


AaYo AaYa AaYe AaYi 


AaYu 


T* *K \K )* *B 


AeYo AeYa AeYe AeYi 


AeYu 


TC |K ]K ]K Hi 


AiYo AiYa AiYe AiYi 


AiYu 


»(* yit *w v* w 


AuYo AuYa AuYe AuYi 


AuYu 


V* ?* !£ !** ^* 


YoAo YoAa YoAe YoAi 


YoAu 


iptp^fip 


YaAo YaAa YaAe YaAi 


YaAu 


«; fit; «; k; up 


YeAo YeAa YeAe YeAi 


YeAu 


k; ip if w vp 


YiAo YiAa YiAe YiAi 


YiAu 


WW**** tf 


YuAo YuAa YuAe YuAi 


YuAu 




Pronunciation with the Heh (n): 




AoHo AoHa AoHe AoHi 


AoHu 


rt« rtrt Ik rt« "tint 


AaHo AaHa AaHe AaHi 


AaHu 


iy* ?ik yt nie to 


AcHo AeHa AeHe AeHi 


AeHu 


tin rut nri n« hiK 


AiHo AiHa AiHe AiHi 


AiHu 


7K riM HK ™ ™t 


AuHo AuHa AuHe AuHi AuHu 


TO W HK TW TC 


HoAo HoAa HoAe HoAi 


HoAu 


ffil KTT «n *frl 'KTI 


HaAo HaAa HaAe HaAi 


HaAu 


m «n **n «n 'wn 


HeAo HeAa HeAe HeAi 


HeAu 


nn «n kh tn 'ict 


HiAo HiAa HiAe HiAi 


HiAu 


ra «n ttt\ ktt '«n 


HuAo HuAa HuAe HuAi HuAu 


XT (tn &n K7T KH 



Figurtr 39. Abulajici's system. 



Copyrighted material 



Chapter "jfwo 



159 



Also important was the system taught by Rabbi Abraham 
Abulafta. which is apparently rooted in earlier techniques. See figure 
39 on pages 128- J 29. It is not certain, however, whether AbuLafia is 
expanding upon the methods of Rabbi Eliezar ftokeach, or if he is 
drawing from an entirely different tradition. This technique is also 
quoted by a number oflater Kabbalists," 

In this system, the initiate pronounces the letters together with 
those of the Tetragrammaton, just as in the system of Rabbi Eliezar 
Rokeach. However, instead of merely using the five primary vowels 
alone n he must use every possible combination of these vowels, 
twenty -five in all. 



Pronunciation with the Vav (i); 




AoVo AoVa AoVe AoVi 


AoVu 


Ik ta Ik ItctM 


AaVo AaVa AaVe AaVi 


AaVu 


H ^ W IK K 


AeVo AeVa AeVe AeVi 


AeVu 


K IN IN W W 


AiVo AiVa AiVe AiVi 


AiVu 


ww ik w tot 


AuVo AuVa AuVe AuVi 


AuVu 


w w w w tot 


VoAo VoAa VoAe VoAi 


VoAu 


Ml Kl 111 tf >0 


VaAo VaAa VaAe VaAi 


VaAu 


H1K1K1K1H) 


VeAo VeAa VeAe VeAi 


VeAu 


Ml Ml Jtl Ml Ml 


ViAo ViAa ViAe ViAi 


ViAu 


wn W «1 Ml Kl 


VuAo VuAa VuAe VuAi 


VuAu 


fflKIMtmWl 


Pronunciation with the finaJ Heh (n); 


AoHoAoHa AoHe AoHi AqHu 


TO TO rt« TO TO 


AaHo AaHa AaHe AaHi AaHu 


to to to to to 


AeHo AeHa AeHe AeHi 


AeHu 


TO W TO TO "IK 


AiHo AiHa AiHe AiHi 


AiHu 


TO TO TO TO TO 


AuHo AuHa AuHe AuHi AuHu 


TO TO TO TOTO 


HoAo HoAa HoAe HoAi 


HoAu 


wn k"i w'rr k n *tn 


HaAo HaAa HaAe HaAi HaAu 


sn wn (tn Kn «ii 


HeAo HeAa He Ac HeAi 


HeAu 


sei «n «n ktt 'rin 


HiAo HiAa HiAe HiAi 


HiAu 


KTT «rt «ri Kl «n 


HuAo HuAa HuAe HuAi 


HuAu 


ktt «rr «n wn mi 



Figure 39. Abulafta t system f continued t. 



Copyrighted material 



130 SEF1R YETZIRAH 



Cholam 


Begin straight ahead and raise head upward. 


Kametz 


Begin at ri^ht and move head to left. 


Tzereh 


Begin at loll and move head to right. 


Chink 


Begin straight ahead and lower head 




downward. 


Shurck 


Move head directly forward. 



Figure 40. Head motions. 

If this method were used with an entire array of 22 1 letter pairs, 
completing a single array would be a major task, taking over an hour 
and a half to complete. It would take over 35 hours to complete the 
entire sequence of 22 letters. It is questionable if this was ever actu- 
ally done in practice, but it is not impossible. Forming a Golem was 
considered to be the most advanced— and dangerous— of all medita- 
tive techniques. An initiate advanced enough to attempt it might also 
have the discipline necessary for over thirty hours of continuous 
meditation. 

Besides this, Abulafia also prescribes specific breathing exercises 
to be used while chanting these letters. Between each letter one is to 
take a single breath. Between pairs, one is to take no more than two 
breaths, between lines, no more than five, and between each letter of 
the Telragrammaton, no more than twenty-five. 

Specific head motions are also prescribed for this exercise. These 
head motions are to be made slowly and deliberately, while one pro- 
nounces the letter and exhales. See figure 40, These motions corre- 
spond to the shape of the vowel. While doing this exercise, one is 
seated, facing toward the east. 

There is evidence that the names and shapes of the Hebrew 
vowel points were used for mystical puposes long before they were 
used in writing and grammar. The earliest non-mystical use of the 
vowels dates from the eighth or ninth century, while mystical uses 
are found in Kabbalistic sources that date as early as the first century. 
It is highly possible that the shapes of the written vowels were taken 
from the head motions associated with their sounds, 

Abulafia uses his system of breathing exercises and head motions 
with the letter Alef, since AJef (with a numerical value of 1 ) expresses 
unity with God. The same system can also be used with other letters. 
There is no evidence, however, that this method was ever used with 
an entire array of 22 1 letter pairs. To use it with even a single letter 
is a major effort. It is possible, however, that this method could be 
used with various letters to attain specific results with them. w 

Golem-making was merely the most advanced and spectacular 
use of the methods of Sefer Yetzirah, Each letter individually, how- 



Copyrighted material 



Chapter Two 13] 

ever, is also associated with a pan ofihe body, The array associated 
with the particular teller euuid be used as a meditation to affect that 
specific limb. This could be used to strengthen the spiritual energy 
of that limb h or even for curative puposes. 

The letters are also associated with various times and astrological 
signs. U sing the system of Sefer Yetzirah one can also construct med- 
itations associated with these. 



2:6 



Mm law* u*« jtn nvjM i^na poo *w* 
'K }£>0 mi MJ13 ir«p 1MKO whwi cr-noy 
-nyn Sd jtn nppi *vom run* « djt nSiii dVu ny 
cmran anry imS [0*di inw or -imrr Sj rai 

:TTIN ^103 CTMn 



He formed substance out of chaos 

and made nonexistence into existence 
He cawed great pillars from air 

that cannot be grasped. 
This is a sign 

[Aiefwitk them ait and oil of them with Ateff 
Heforsees, transforms and makes 

ait that is formed and ail that is spoken: 
one Name. 
A sign for this thing; 

Twenty-two objects in a single body, 



He formed substance out of chaos 

Earlier, the Sefer Yetzirah stated that chaos (tohu) was "engraved 
and carved™ from water (1:11 J. As we explained there, "Water" 
alluded to Chakhmah and the basis of all physical creation. The 
"water* mentioned there denoted the most primitive spiritual root of 



Copyrighted material 



132 SEFER YETZIRAH 

water, as it exists in the universe of Atzitut, the realm of the Sefirot. 
It was out of this that the first stage of matter, "Chaos" {lohu), was 
formed. The text here therefore states that it was out of this "chaos" 
that matter was formed. 

The word for "substance" here is Mamash (pod). This comes 
from the root Mashash {ttfwo), meaning "to touch." What is produced 
is a reality that can not only be seen, but which is physical enough 
to be touched. 



And made nonexistence into existence 

Chakhmah, however, is on the level of Nothingness* It is from 
this Nothingness, however, that all things were created. From this 
"nonexistence," Binah and Beriyah t which are called "existence" 
(Yesh), were brought into being. 



He carved great pillars 

The reference here is obviously to the verse, "Wisdom has built 
its house, it has carved its seven pillars" (Proverbs 9: 1). This is fur- 
ther evidence that this section is speaking of Chakhmah 
(Wisdom)." 

There is some discussion at to the meaning of the "seven pillars' 
in this verse. In one place, the Talmud says that they are the seven 
days of the week.** Elsewhere, the Talmud states that they refer to 
the seven pillars upon which the world stands, an interpretation thai 
is also mentioned in the Zohar.* T Others identify them with the seven 
sciences; grammar rhetoric, logic, arithmetic, music, geometry, and 
astronomy.** 

The Kabbalists teach that these seven pillars represent the lower 
seven Sefirot.** These correspond to the seven pillars of creation and 
the seven days of the week, so this does not contradict the Talmudic 
interpretation. 

In the system of the Sefer Yeizirah, it is obvious that these seven 
pillars represent the seven Doubles, They are called "pillars" because 
they are represented by vertical lines in the Tree of Life diagram. 

These seven Doubles are derived from the three Mothers. This 
would support an ancient version, which instead of "substance" 
(Mamash— van), read AMSh (vox), the three Mothers, 70 The text 
would then read, "He formed AMSh (»ow) out of chaos . . . and 
carved great pillars 



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Chapter 7wo 133 

From air that cannot be grasped 

These pillars are carved from "air which cannot be grasped." Air 
was earlier identified with Breath, which in turn is associated with the 
first Sefirah, Keter. Air is also identified with the letter AJef (2:l h 3:4), 

The Sefer Yetzirah stales that water is below T fire above, and air 
is in the middle. This may initially be somewhat difficult to under- 
stand, since air is associated with Breath and Keter the highest 
Sefirah." It is also associated with Alef, the first letter of the 
alphabet. 

As explained earlier (l:9) T however, the Breath associated with 
Keter is not graspable, since this Sefirah represents a level above the 
intellect. The only place where this Breath can become manifest is in 
the lower Sefirot. Therefore, even though it is on a level above 
Chakhmah and Binah, it is only manifest on a levd that is below 
them. 

The "air that cannot be grasped** is therefore the Breath coming 
from Keter. This cannot be grasped until it enters the realm of the 
"pillars," that is, the lower seven Sefirot. 

This section is actually best understood in a mystical sense. The 
previous section explained how to use the Letter arrays together with 
the divine Name as a meditative device. One of the manifestations 
of higher meditative states (as well as some drug-induced Elates) is 
halludnogenesis, where one can voluntarily form mental images. 
These mental images appear to be real and substantia]. When a per- 
son is in a normal state of consciousness, he may be able to form 
mental images, but they are weak, transient, and blurred by mental 
static. In contrast, the images formed in a meditative state appear 
solid, substantial, and real. 

In an ordinary state of Binah consciousness, the mind is filled 
with static. If you wish to see this static, merely close your eyes. You 
will see a rapidly changing kaleidoscope of images* one imposed on 
another. Even if you can grasp a single image for a short while, it is 
intermingled with mental static, and you have little control over the 
image. You cannot make it come and go at will, and you cannot 
determine how it behaves. Even when you can exert some influence 
over it, the image will seem to have a mind of its own. 

This static also exists even when our eyes are open, but it is over- 
shadowed by the images of the real world. In a darkened room, how- 
ever, it does remain visible to some degree. This static impairs our 
perception of the outside world, and clouds our mental processes. 

The perception of the spiritual world is even more tenuous than 
that of the physical. In a normal state of consciousness, mental static 
makes it absolutely impossible to visualize the spiritual world. 



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134 SEFER VETZFRAH 

Here this stale of mental static is called "chaos" (tohu). As both 
the Kabbalists and linguists teach, the word Tohu (nri) comes from 
the verb Tahah (mn) h meaning to be "astounded'* or ""confused." 73 
This is the normal state of mental confusion, where the mind is 
clouded with static. This is also associated with Binah consciousness, 
and accordingly, a number of Kabbalists associate Tohu with Binah. 73 
The Zohar also teaches that Tohu is associated with the Ktipah 
(Husk), the forces that prevent one from visualizing the spiritual 
realm.™ 

It is out of this Tohu, this state of confused Binah consciousness, 
that one must create a palpable image. There are many images that 
can be produced, but the most common is the mental Golem, the 
astral body. The initiate thus "forms palpable substance {mamash) 
out of chaos." This implies attaining a stale of Chakhmah conscious- 
ness. The KahbaLists thus note that the word Golem (nbj) has a 
numerical value of 73, the same as that of Chakhmah (noon)/ 5 

One must then "make nonexistence into existence." Earlier, in stat- 
ing, "form substance out of chaos," the text uses the wo*d "form,** while 
here it uses the word "make.* In Hebrew, especially recording to the 
Kabbalists, the word "form* iyatzar) denotes the initial forming of 
"something from something," The teim "make" {asah), on the other 
hand, refers to the com plel ion of the process. Thus, in "forming subsumes 
out of chaos," one begins the mental act of creation. In "making nonexis- 
tence into existence," one completes it. 

The term "formation" also implies an activity taking place in 
Yetzirah, the lower spiritual universe. Thus, when one "forms sub- 
stance out of chaos," one is bringing about a purely spiritual result 
in the universe of Yetzirah. "Making," on the other hand, refers to 
the universe of Asiyah, which borders on the physical This implies 
results that may actually be manifest in the physical world. 

In order to accomplish this, one must enter fully into the realm 
of Nothingness, This is the highest level of Chakhmah consciousness, 
bordering on Keter, One therefore begins with "nonexistence,** which 
is Nothingness. 

When one reaches this level, he can actually make something 
"that actually is" (yeshno) or "existence." He can actually bring about 
results in the universe of Asiyah, which can then be reflected in the 
physical world. In making a Golem, this would correspond to the 
state of consciousness required before the mental image could be 
imposed on the clay, bringing it to life. 

A very similar process is described by the great Hassidic master, 
Rabbi Dov Baer, the Maggid of Mezritch (1 704-1 772). He writes that 
when a person contemplates a physical object completely and totally, 
he can actually bring that object onto his thought. If his thought is 



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Chapter 7»u 135 

then bound lo the supernal Mind, he can elevate that object to the 
level of Mind, From there, it can be further elevated to the level of 
Nothingness, where the object ceases to exist. When this object is 
then once again brought back to the level of Mind, it can be brought 
back in any form that the initiate desires. Thus, when he finally 
brings it back to its normal physical state, the object can be changed 
in any manner he desires. As the Maggid states, "he can even trans- 
form it into gold." 7 * 

It is in this state of consciousness that one can visualize the 
Sefirot as ^great pillars." One "carves" them out, this meaning that 
the image of the Sefirab is seen separately, totally filling the con- 
sciousness. Even though the Sefirot are totally ineffable and inde- 
scribable, when a person is in this state of consciousness, he can 
"carve" them out. They are then perceived as solid pillars, made of 
transparent air. Like the air, the Sefirot are still invisible, but in this 
state of consciousness, even the air can become visible. 

This is a sign,.. 

The Sefer Yetzirah describes a sign through which one knows 
that he has attained this state. He must go through the entire array, 
"Alef with them all, and at! of them with Alef.*" This means that he 
permutes the array forward and backward, which respectively are the 
modes of creating and destroying. 

The initate then "forsees, transforms and makes," The word for 
"foresee" here is tzofeh, and as discussed earlier (1:6), this word 
denotes mystical insight and foresight. If the initiate has attained the 
proper state, he attains a mystical insight through which he can per- 
ceive the inner essence of all things. He can then engage in the proc- 
ess described earlier, where the Sefer Yetzirah said, "discern with 
them, and probe from them" (1 :4). 

When the initiate reaches this high level he can also 
"transform * actually changing physical things. He can even "make," 
bringing things to existence in the physical world. 

Most important is the final realization: "All that is formed and 
all that is spoken is one Name." The initiate not only knows this 
intellectually, but he can actually visualize and see that all creation 
is nothing more than one Name, the Tetragrammaton. 

A sign for this thing. 22 objects , , . 

This goes back and refers to the entire chapter, "Twenty-two 
objects in a single body," is a sign that the initiate has completed this 
discipline and has mastered it fully. 



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336 SEFER VETZIRAH 

He uses each of the 22 letters to form a mental image of a differ- 
ent pari of the body. Each part of the body can thus be formed sepa- 
rately. The ability to complete separate parts, however, docs not 
prove mastery of the method of Sefer Yeuirah. The final proof of 
masterv is the ability to assemble all these 22 objects into a single 
body, 77 

This is the process of completing a mental Golem. The initiate 
must not only form all the parns n but he must actually assemble them. 
This means that while he is engaged in the meditation to create one 
part, he must not lose his mental image of the parts that he formed 
earlier. As each part of the image is formed, it must be retained in 
the mind, with subsequent images added to it, part by pari- The 
amount of mental discipline, as well as the advanced nature of the 
meditative technique required for this, is virtually beyond 
description. 

The creation of a mental Golem is therefore a culmination of the 
arts of Sefer Yetzirah, as well as a test to determine if one has mas- 
tered them. This did not involve the actual creation of a physical 
Golem, since this was only done on very special occasions. As the 
Kabbah sts warn, such an undertaking should not be attempted with- 
out permission from on high. 18 



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CHAPTER THREE 



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Chapter Three 139 



3:1 



jiot *p pip* tToK moa ttbtt 



TTirft 1 Mothers: Ale/Mem Shin (vox) 
Their foundation is 

a pan of merit 

a pan of liability 

and the tongue of decree deciding between them. 



This repeats pan of a previous section (2; 1), and it has already been 
discussed. Chapters one and two spoke of the basic meditative meth- 
ods involving the Sefirot and letters. Now the letters are treated 
separately. 

Thus, in the beginning of chapter two, the three Mothers were 
introduced. The main idea there* however, was to teach that "Mem 
hums and Shin hisses," one of the first meditative practices using the 
letters. 

Here, the same concept is repeated, but as introduction to the 
idea of thesis, antithesis, and synthesis. It is similar to an ancient tra- 
dition of horn tie tic interpretation: "Two scriptures that contradict 
one another, until a third scripture comes and decides between 
them," 1 In both cases, the same expression, "decides between them." 
{Makhria Beynehem), is used. It is significant to note that the homi- 
letic rule is expressed by Rabbi Ishmael, a Leader of an important first 
century mystical school, who apparently received it from Rabbi 
Nehuniah ben HaKana. 2 

The simplest interpretation is that Mem is thesis, Shin is antithesis, 
and Alef is synthesis. These thro: elements then form the three vertical 
columns into which the Sefirot are divided. Mem represents the right 
hand column (headed by Chakhmah), Shin, the left hand column {headed 
by Binah), and Alef, the central column (headed by KeteT).* 

There is, however, another interpretation, and this follows the 
arrangement of the letters on the Tree of Life according to the An* 
Here, Alef Mem and Shin are the horizontal lines, connecting oppos- 
ing Sefirot Shin is between Chakhmah and Binah, Alef between 
Chesed and Gevurah, and Mem between Netzach and Hod. 



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140 SEFER VETZIRAH 

Following this, the text is saying that the "foundation" of all 
three of these Mother letters is the synthesis that connects thesis and 
antithesis. Thesis is the Sefirah to the right, antithesis is the one to 
the left, and synthesis is the Mother Jetler connecting the two. 



3:2 



rroiuoi nSsio Si-rj -pd irott moa* vhv 
d*d Titt orrn i«y»^ myaa f^a oinm 

ijmbiri jtokoi nu« nSu onoi vh 



Three Mothers; Alej Mem Shin (t?j») 
A great, mystical secret 

covered and sealed with six rings 
And from them emanated air, water and fire 
And from them are born Fathers, 

and from the Fathers, descendents. 



A great mystical secret 

The word for "mystical" here is MuPhla (st^sc}. 1 This is very 
closely related, and shares the same root with the word Peiiyah 
(rwSjt). used in relation to the Thirty-two Paths of Wisdom (1:1), One 
reason for this, as discussed earlier (2: l), is because it is through these 
Mother letters that one can enter into the realm of Chakhmah con- 
sciousness, which is the portal to the transcendental. 

These three Mother letters are also related to the mystery of the 
divine Name, The Sefer Yetzirah earlier said, "He chose three let- 
ters, . , in the mystery of the three Mothers, AMSh (iran)" (1:13). 
Thus, the letters AMSh (wok) are the roots of the letters of the Tetra- 
grammaton, YHV (icp). According to the Kahbalists, Yud is derived 
from Mem, Heh from Shin, and Vav from Alef. 6 These three Mothers 
therefore represent an even deeper mystery than the Teirag- 
rammaton. 

The Tetragrammaton actually only relates to the Ten Sefirot. 
There is, however, an aspect of creation that existed before the 
Sefirot. In this stage, the proto-Sefirot existed as simple non- 
interacting points. In the language of the Kabbalists, this is known as 
the Universe of Chaos (Tohu). In this state, the Vessels, which were 



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Chapter Thnrr 141 

the proto-Sefirot could neither interact nor give to one another. 
Since they could not emulate God by giving, they were incomplete, 
and could therefore not hold the Divine Light, Since they could not 
fulfill their purpose, they were overwhelmed by the Light and 
"shattered. * This is known as the "Breaking of Vessels." 

The broken shards of these Vessels fell to a lower spiritual level 
and subsequently became the source of all evil. It is for this reason 
that Chaos {Tohu) is said to be the root of evil. 

After having been shattered, the Vessels were once again recti- 
fied and rebuilt into Personifications {Pamuftm). Each of these 
Partzufim consists of 6 13 pans, paralleling the 6 1 3 parts of the body, 
as well as the 613 commandments of the Torah. These Partzufim 
were then able to interact with each other. More important, through 
the Torah h they were also able to interact with man. This is the stage 
where the Sefirot become givers as well as receivers, 

In this rectified state the Vessels (ot Sefirot) became fit to receive 
God's Light. In Kabbalistic terminology, this state is called the Uni- 
verse of Rectification (Tikkun). 

The Kabbalists teach that me Letters of the Tetragjammaton, 
YHV (ct), only pertain to the Universe of Rectification. In the Uni- 
verse of Chaos (Tohu), the divine Name consisted of the letters AMSh 

When a person enters into the mysteries, he must parallel the 
sequence of creation. 8 First he enters the Universe of Chaos (Tohu). 
Here his mind is filled with confused transient images. If he perceives 
the Sefirot, they are u like lightning, runn ing and returning" { t :6). The 
Sefirot are perceived as disconnected images, where no relationship 
between them can be seen. This is the state of consciousness attained 
through the letters AMSh (rat), as discussed earlier {2:1), 

The initiate can then enter the Universe of Rectification, where 
the Sefirot are connected and assume the form of Panzuftm Each 
Partzuf is a human-like form, very closely related to the conceptual 
Golem. The creation of this mental Golem- Partzuf is accomplished 
through the letters of the name YHVH together with various letters, 
as described above (2:5), This is the Name associated with the Uni- 
verse of Rectification. 

Here, one must combine all the Sefirot to form "a single body" 
(2:6). One also becomes aware of the lines connecting the Sefirot, 
which are included in the Thirty-two Paths of Wisdom. Hence, when 
these Thirty-two Paths arc discussed, the Sefer Yetzirah uses the 
names YH YHVH. 

The three Mother letters, AMSh also spell out the Hebrew word 
Emesh {vaet}, meaning "yesternight." This occurs in the verse, "You 
slept last night (emesh) with my father" (Genesis 19:34), The word 



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142 SEFER YETZ1RAH 

emesk also denotes deep impenetrable gloom, as in the verse, "Gloom 
{ernes ft), waste and desolation * (Job 30:3).* This is the inky gloom 
that existed before creation, in the Universe of Chaos T the 
"yesternight " before the Sell rot were brought into being. 

There is also evidence that the word emesh was also used as a 
mystical name of God. Thus, Laban said to Jacob, rf The God of y out 
fathers last night (Ernes h) said to me" (Genesis 31:29). This can just 
as easily be read, "The God of your fathers, Emesh, said to me," Sim- 
ilarly, Jacob said, "And Emesh gave judgment w (Genesis 31:43}. 10 

According to some authorities, the letters Alef Mem Shin (pok) 
also conceal a deeper mystery, which is Alef Vav Yud (nw), [ ' 

Another element of the mystery of the letters AMSh is the fact 
that they represent the reconciliation of opposites. Logically > there is 
no way in which opposites can be reconciled . These letters therefore 
represent a mystery that cannot be penetrated by logic. 

One commentator states that the letters AMSh contain the mys- 
tery through which one can walk on fire. 15 The reason for this may 
be because these letters have the power to reconcile opposites. It is 
possible that Rav Zeira made use of this technique to prevent his feet 
from being burned in fire, as related in the Talmud. 1J 



Sealed with six rings 

The obvious scriptural source is the verse, "The script which is 
written in the King's name and sealed with the King's ring^ cannot 
be reversed™ (Esther 8:8). 

According to this, the "rings" here would be the rings of the 
King's name, that is, the letters YHV (irr). The Kabbalists therefore 
say that these six rings are the six directions, which, as the Sefer 
Yetiirah (1 :1 3) earlier says, were "sealed" with the letters YHV {v?). 1 * 
Behind the permutations of the letters YHV is the deeper mystery of 
the permutations of the letters AMSh, now under discussion. 

These six directions, which comprise the physical universe, are 
what hide the deeper mysteries. It is thus written, "He has set the 
universe in their heart, so that man cannot fmd out the work that 
God has done, from the beginning to the end" (Ecclesiastes 3:10). As 
the commentaries point out, the word "uni verse™ here in Hebrew is 
Otam (thy). It comes from the root Alam (o^p), meaning "occlusion," 
and also has this connotation. As long as a person can only think in 
terms of the physical dimensions of space, the inner reality is con- 
cealed from him. 

Also significant is the fact that a ring is normally wont on the 
finger. As the Sefer Yetzirah states (l:3)> the Ten Sefirot are repre- 



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Chapter Three 143 

semed by the ten fingers. The six rings are thus worn on the six 
"fingers" corresponding to the six Sefirot, which represent the six 
directions. 15 

The "six rings** here also allude to the "six rings of the throat," 
mentioned in the Zohar. 1 * It is from these rings that all sound and 
speech are derived. These six rings, which are the source of physical 
speech, conceal the mystery of AMSh, which relates to the root of 
speech. This mystery can only be penetrated when one transcends the 
realm of physical speech. 



From them emanated air, water and fire 

This is the process described in detail in chapter one (1:9-12). 

From them are born Fathers 

The three Mother letters, AMSh (von), represent cause, effect 
and their synthesis. Shin [v) is cause, Mem [a) is effect, and Alef (h) 
is the synthesis between these two opposite*. In the Tree of Life dia- 
gram, these are represented by three horizontal lines. 

These three horizontal lines give rise to the three vertical col- 
umns in the Tree of Life diagram, headed by Keier, Chakhmah, and 
Binah. These are represented by "air, water, and fire." 

We therefore begin with a dialectic triad: "Creator," "object of 
creation,** and "act of creation." This gives rise to a second triad: 
love, judgment, and mercy. This second triad defines the three col- 
umns into which the Sefirot are arranged. 17 

The three horizontal lines are the three Mothers. The three col- 
umns define the three Fathers, which are the letters Yud Heh Vav 
(ttp) t It was from these letters that space is defined, as the Sefer 
Yetzirah states earlier (1:13). Once space is defined, then creation can 
take place. 

This can also be understood in a meditative sense. Through the 
pronunciation of the letters AMSh, one enters the realm of 
Chakhmah consciousness, and passes through the ChashmaL One 
then passes through the domains of Breath, water and fire, as 
described earlier (1:14). At this time t one must be in a totally recep- 
tive mode, which is an aspect of the feminine. Hence, the letters 
AMSh are called "Mothers." 

After this, however, one can enter into a creative mode through 
the letters YHV. These letters are therefore called "Fathers." Only 
then can one produce "descendants." 



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144 SEFER YETZIRAH 



3:3 



fypp jm? pyn jppn vm*. jiiok pSv 

071)73 tTGN J1U3K ttrStr DH3 T3TT pom 

^sn fr'&N J-ittJ* t?Stn njpa p'ok jiion pSot 

:H3Pi1 TOT 



7V*¥ Mothers: Alef Mem Shin fount) 
He engraved rhem. He carved them. 
He permuted them. He weighed them. 
He transformed them, 

And with them He depicted 

Three Mothers AMSh foot*) in the Universe, 
Three Mothers AMSh (trnK) in the Year, 
Three Mothers AMSh fvz») in the Sout. 
mate and female. 



He engraved them- ^ 

The beginning of this section is exactly the same as 2:2, except thai 
aU the letters were being discussed there, and here only the three Mother 
Letters arc under consideration. In both cases, there are five processes: 
engraving, carving, permuting, weighing, and transforming. 

When, as in chapter two, all 12 letters are given equal status, 
then all five dimensions as the five phonetic families (2:3). Here, on 
the other hand T the three Mothers are taken separately. The five 
dimensions are therefore also divided into three domains: Universe, 
Year, and Soul. The Universe consists of the three spatial dimen- 
sions, Year consists of the time dimension, while Soul consists of the 
spiritual dimension, 

A similar division into three domains was encountered earlier, 
in chapter one, when the Sefnot were first enumerated. First enumer- 
ated was the domain of Soul, the spiritual dimension, which con* 
sisted of "Breath," and "Breath from Breath" (1:9,10). Then came the 
domain of Year, the time dimension, consisting of Water and Fire 
(1:11-12), Finally came the domain of Universe, the three spaciat 
dimensions, represented by the six permutations of the letters YHV 
U:13K 

The Sefer Yetzirah stated earlier (1:13) that the three letters 
YHV T which define the space continuum, are derived from AMSh. 



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Chapter Three 145 

Therefore, it is the Letters AMSh which separate the space continuum 
from that of time and the spiritual. 

There is an important difference between the space continuum 
and the other two. It is only in space that one can move voluntarily. 
In time h one moves in one direction at a predetermined rate. In the 
spiritual dimension, a physical body cannot move at all. Only the 
soul can move through the spiritual dimension, and it is for this rea- 
son that this domain is called Soul 

The letters AMSh differentiate space from lime and soul. These 
same letters can therefore be used to do away with this diffe- 
rentiation. 



3:4 



n*op p« d*o -m o^ijn p'ok niaa zht? 

nl*10 "PWl O'OO JTNTOJ f TK1 WKQ TKTDJ 



Three Mothers. AMSh (vhk)> 

in the Universe are air, water, fire. 
Heaven was created from /ire 
Earth was created from water 
And air from Breath decides between them. 



tn chapter one, the text discussed the spiritual aspect of "Breath, 
water and fire,™ in terms of the original four Sefirot, Here it is speak- 
ing of how these three are also manifest in the physical world. 

In the simplest physical terms, "water" repesenis matter, "fire" 
is energy, and "air" is the space that allows the two to interact, |B 

On a somewhat deeper physical level, fire, water and air repre- 
sent the three basic physical forces. "Fire** is the electromagnetic 
force, through which all mailer interacts. The atomic nucleus, how- 
ever, consists of like positive charges, which would repel each other 
if only electrornafinciism existed There must therefore exist another 
force which can bind the nucleus together. This is the "strong 
nuclear" or pionic force, which binds the nucleus together, repre* 



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\M 



SEFER YETZIRAH 




Figure 4f. From Maaseh Toviah fOwrw. /WW^/j. 45 u. 

sented by "water." If this nuclear force were to interact with all parti- 
cles, however, all matter would be mutually attracted together, form- 
ing a solid lump denser than a neutron star r On the oiher hand, even 
within each elementary particle, there is a need for a cohesive force 
to counteract the electromagnetic repulsion within the particle itself. 
This force can be neither electromagnetic nor pionic. This is the 
^air," which represents the "weak nuclear" force, which "decides 
between " the other two. It is this force that allows light particles (lep- 
tons) such as electrons to exist. Sec figure 41. 

The fourth force, gravity, corresponds to ^earth," Earth, however 
is not a basic element, but a confluence of the other three. L * It is 
therefore represented by the final Heh in the Tetragrammaton, which 
is actually a repetition of the first Heh in this name. 

On an even more elementary level, these three elements repre- 
sent the three ax es in the unitary symmetry, SU(3), which is the most 
basic property of mailer. 

These three elements also relate to the experientiaL Here, fire 
represents the radiation of energy, while water represents ihe absorp- 
tion of energy. These are thesis and antithesis, giving and receiving, 
which themselves are manifestations of cause and effect. Air, which 
represents the transmission of energy is then the synthesis^ linking 
the two. 



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Chapter Three 147 

In this aspect, fire and water also represent the psychologies] 
modes of Binah And Chakhmab consciousness. As discussed earlier, 
"fire" is Binah consciousness, where the mind itself is constantly 
radiating energy. " Water, " on the other hand, is Chakhmah con- 
sciousness, where the mind can absorb spiritual energy from without. 
"Air" is then Ruach HaKodesK the medium through which such spir- 
itual energy is transmitted. 



Heaven is created from fire 

This is the same as the statement made above (1:12), Our experi- 
ence and depicting of the transcendental sphere must be brought into 
Binah consciousness. 

In a physical sense, fire represents radiative energy. This usually 
takes place by means of the electromagnetic interaction in the form 
of light. ** Heaven" here represents the concept of ■space as defined by 
the electromagnetic interaction, this being an important cornerstone 
of the principle of Relativity, 

Fire represents Binah, and as discussed earlier (1:1), the word 
Binah comes from the root Beyn, meaning "between." It is from 
Binah that the concept of separation comes into being. Furthermore, 
it is only as a result of the concept of separation that space can exist. 
If not for Binah, all existence would be concentrated in a single 
point. 

tn the same manner, "earth is created from water." "Earth* 1 rep- 
resents the solid state, where matter exists with a minimum of space 
separating its molecules. This stems from Chakhmah, which tends to 
minimize separation and distance. 

In a gas such as air t the molecules tend to fly apart and separate. 
Yet, at the same time, they are held together just sufficiently to give 
the gas substance. Gas is therefore always in a state of contained 
expansion. This is intermediate between the containment of solid 
matter and the total expansion of pure radiation. 

Fire is represented by the letter Shin. Shin is the dominant Letter 
in the word Esh (pk), meaning Tire. It is joined with the Alef, repre- 
senting air, because a fire cannot exist without air. w 

The three heads of the Shin also suggest the flames of the fire. 
The hissing sound of this letter furthermore is like the hiss of a 
flame. 

The three heads of the Shin are separated, suggesting the general 
concept of separation. Corresponding to the Shin is the letter Heh 
(n), which is only one of the two letters in the alphabet consisting of 
two disconnected parts. 



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I4E SEFER YETZIRAH 

Water is represented by the letter Mem. Here again, Mem is the 
dominant letter in the word Mayim (era), meaning water. Indeed* the 
very name of the letter Mem come* from the word Mayim. 21 

Mem is also a closed letter, indicating containment and unity." 
h is also sounded with the mouth closed. It parallels the letter Yud 
{>), which is written as a single point. 

Air is rep rest; nuxl by Alef, since it is the initial letter of Avir(-vw), 
meaning "air." Alef is a silent letter, whose sound is as undetectable 
as the invisible air In shape, it consists of an upper right and a lower 
left dot, representing two opposites, with a diagonal Line in the mid- 
dle, which both separates and connects the two. 



3:5 



Din .n>m nip oin nzvi won mow fSp 
rnnn rrm o*ao btoj iip utto ptoj 
town r"DO 



Three Mothers AMSh (vwt) 
in the Year are 
the hot 
the cofd 

and the temperate. 
The hot is created from fire 
The cold is created from water 
And the temperate, from Breath, 
decides between them. 



The year is divided into three basic parts. There is the hot summer 
and the cold winter, which are thesis and antithesis. The two temper- 
ate seasons, spring and autumn* are both taken together and are spo- 
ken of as the temperate season. This is the synthesis. 

Here we see the concept of a cycle between opposites. This cycle, 
like many others, constantly swings between two opposites* At the 
midpoint in each swing, no matter in which direction, the cycle must 
pass through the intermediate midpoint. 

Thus, both in going from hot to cold, and from cold to hot* the 
cycle must pass through a temperate season. It is out of cycles such 
as these that time is defined. The Sefer Yetzirah therefore slates that 
the Cycle is the king in the domain of time (6:3), 



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Chapter Three 149 

In the annual cycle, winter is represented by Mem (o). summer 
by Shin (»), and the two temperate seasons by Aief (k). The complete 
cycle is then defined by the letters MAShA (kpko). Taking their paral- 
lels, these correspond to the letters YVHV (mp) r This is closely 
related, but somewhat different than the Tetragrarnmaton, YHVH 

In the Tetragrarnmaton, the ordering of the Letters is YHV (tr») h 
Here thesis and synthesis are seen as opposite^ representing tension 
and equilibrium. Antithesis is then the midpoint connecting the two. 
The fourth letter of the Tetragrarnmaton, the Hen, is also a point of 
tension. 



The temperate 

The Hebrew word for "temperate.*' here, is Ravayah (th). 
This use of the word Ravayah is virtually unique in Hebrew 
literature. 

The usual interpretation of Ravayah is abundance, as in the 
verse, "my cup is abundant {ravayahf (Psalms 23:5). It should be 
recalled that it is from this verse that some KabbaLists find an allu- 
sion to the 221 Gates, discussed earlier (2:4). 

One reason for the use of Ravayah to denote the spring and 
fall was because these two were the harvest seasons in the Holy 
Land, 

The most obvious source for this usage is the verse, "We have 
come through fire and water, You brought us out to Ravayah** 
(Psalms 66:12). Some commentaries interpret Ravayah here to also 
mean "abundance," but from the context, "temperate" seems to be a 
more Logical interpretation. Ravayah would then denote the desired 
meaning between "fire" and "water." The Sefer Yetzirah also uses 
this word in such a sense. 

It is significant to note that the Talmud interprets "fire and 
water" in this verse to denote psychological states." The Midrash 
likewise interprets "fire and water" in this verse as referring to two 
opposing kinds of purgaiory.^ 

Fire is the overabundance of sensation, and it is also related to 
shame*" Water, on the other hand, denotes lack of sensation, and is 
related to depression, Ravayah is then the perfect mental state 
between these two extremes. 

Some authorities also say that the word Ravayah is related to the 
word Yoreh (mm*), which denotes the early autumn rains. 3 * 



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J 50 SEFER VETZIRAH 



3:6 



pii ran ropji idt vwa if 'ok mow pbp 
mil croa «~oj pji Ptta k-qj Ptn ,rr*Tfli 
sows jnaa nna 



7Vre Mothers AMSh (van) 

in the Soul male and female* 
are the head, belly, and chesL 
The head is created from fire. 
The belly is created from water 
and the chest, from breath, 
decides between them. 



The "sour here also refers to the body^ One reason for this is because 
the soul is an exact counterpart of the body. Everything found in the 
body is also found in the souL 

Similarly, the human body is a microcosm of the supernal 
"Man.** See figure 42 on page 15 i . This is the "Man" sitting on the 
throne, seen by EzekieL The supernal "Man" represents the array of 
the Sefirot. The "SouP mentioned here then also refers to the anthro- 
pomorphic representation of this array. 

With respect to the Sefirot. Shin is the line between Chakhmah 
and Binyh: Alef, between Chtsed and Gcvurah: and Mem. between 
Netzach and Hod, The top line represents the head, the center line, 
the chest, and the lower line, the belly. 27 

According to Rabbi Abraham Abulafia, there is also an allusion 
here to the two covenants mentioned above (1:3}. The covenant of 
the tongue is in the head, while the covenant of circumcision is in 
the region of the belly. Between the two, in the chest, is the heart, 
which is king over the soul (6:3), This alludes to the Torah, which is 
the primary covenant, 2 * 

The head also represents man's creative power, which is repre- 
sented by fire. The belly is man's receptive power, represented by 
water. The chest and lungs must both inhale and exhale, and there- 
fore pertain to both. 

In a deeper sense, the head is seen as the center of Binah con- 
sciousness. It is the head that is the seat of the conscious stream of 
thought. The workings of the belly, on the other hand, are almost 
completely subconscious. The belly therefore parallels the Mem, 
which denotes Chakhmah consciousness. It is for this reason that 
some mystics would contemplate their belly when attempting to 
attain Chakhmah consciousness. 



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Chapter Three 



151 



flinah 



Gevurah 



( Ktitr ) 



Chewd 




Chakhmah 



Nrtzach 



Figure 42. The supernal "Mart. 



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152 SEFER YETZIRAH 

Breathing borders on both the conscious and the unconscious. 
One usually breaihes unconsciously, but one can also control one's 
breathing consciously. Breathing is therefore associated with both 
Binah and Chakhmah consciousness. It is for this reason that con- 
trolled breathing techniques are important in making the transition 
between these two states. Breathing is centered in the chest. 



The chest 

The Hebrew word for "chest" here is Gaviyah (n*u), M The use of 
Gaviyah for chest is also unique in Hebrew Literature, Usually, the 
word refers to the body as a whole, and some commentaries here also 
state that it denotes the entire trunk. 10 

A possible scriptural source for this may come from EzekieL's 
vision, where he said of the Chayot, "With two [wings] they covered 
their Gaviyah" {EzeJtiel 1:11). The scripture may be saying that they 
covered their chest and heart with two of their wings. 31 

Some commentaries interpret Gaviyah to denote the sexual 
organ. 32 In the Language of the Mishnah, we indeed find that the 
"head of the Gaviyah" refers to the tip of the male organ. 33 How- 
ever, as the major commentaries note, only the term, "head of the 
Gaviyah" has this connotation, and not the word Gaviyah 
itself* 



3:7 



"ino h ie?p> nm n rm -yhnn 

dim n*m obitjn tin nrp ijn nra nt fjnyi 



He made the letter Aleffa) king over Breath 

And He bound a crown to it 

And He combined them one with another 
And with them He formed 

Air in the Universe 

The temperate in the Year 

And the chest in the Souk 
The male with AMSh faaitf 
And the female with AShM (lypn). 



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Chapter Three 133 

He made Ale/ king 

Most simply, this means that with regard to concepts related to 
Breath, Alef is always the first letter in the permutation," 

In a deeper sense, this means that Alef was bound to the Sefirah 
of Malfchut (Kingship), Malkhut is said to be the "mouthy and as 
such T it is the Sefirah through which the power of all the other Sefirot 
is expressed. 3 * 

The first stage is therefore to make The letter "king," This means that 
it is brought to the "month," which is the Sefirah of Malkhut 17 

Bound a crown to it 

This indicates that the letters are bound to the highest of the 
Sefirot, Keter. As the Sefer Yelzirah states earlier (1:9), this is the 
direct Breath. Malkhut, on the other hand, is reflected Breath. Before 
a letter can be expressed through Malkhut, it must be bound to Keter. 
Thus, the "End is imbedded in the beginning" (1:7). 

This also speaks of the physical letters, which have small "crowns* 
called Taggin on top. The Talmud thus says that when Moses ascended 
to heaven, he saw Cod "binding crowns to the letters, " w 

These crowns represent the higher spiritual nature of the let- 
ters. 19 If the letters themselves are in Assiyah, then the crowns on top 
bind them to Yetzirah.* 3 

Air, temperate, chest 

In Hebrew, air is Avir (ttk), temperate is Ravayah (n*n), and 
chest is Geviyah (rrti). Except for the Resh in Av\r y all of these words 
are spelled the same; 

AVYR tin 
RVYH fm 
GVYH ™ 

The endings of these words is consistantly VYH (n*i). This repre- 
sents the hidden power of the letters Yud Heh Vav (rr) in the three 
Mothers AMSh. 

It is significant to note that in these words, the order of the let- 
ters is VYH (rm). Since Vav (i) corresponds to Alef (&e), Yud (»■) corre- 
sponds to Mem (a), and Heh (n) corresponds to Shin {v\ the Letters 
VYH (i*i) are in the same order as AMSh (tat). 

The word Avir is written with a Resh (i) instead of a Heh (n). 
This is because AVYH (n»w) spells out a secret divine Name/ 1 



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154 SEFER YETZ1RAH 

The initial letters of Avir, Ravayah and Ge\iyah spell out Arag 
(rwK which means "to weave. w It is out of these three syntheses that 
the fabric of creation is woven. 

Male and Female 

Rabbi Eliezar Rokeach of Wormes writes that if one wishes to 
create a male Golem, then the sequence AMSh (vox) must be used. 
If one wishes to create a Female Golem t then the sequence must be 
AShM (aim). If one wishes to destroy the Golem, then the sequence 
is ShMA (kw}/ 1 

The Hebrew word for man is Ish (vk) + while that for woman is 
Ishah (rtr«>. In both cases, the Letters Alef and Shin are in the same 
position as here.** We then have: 

Man AYSh t™ Woman A$hH mt 

AMSh vatt AShM crcw 

The only difference between the Hebrew words for man and woman 
and the combinations here is that Yud and Hch are substituted for 
the Mem. As mentioned earlier, Yud is male, while Heh is female. 
These letters take the place of the Mem, which is the belly, since it 
is here that man and woman are differentiated.* 4 

Also significant is the position of the Shin T which represents fire 
and passion. Id man, the sequence is AMSh {TOk), with the Shin 
exposed at the end. In woman, on the other hand, the sequence is 
AShM (tnw), with the Shin concealed in the middle. This is because 
the sexual organ in man ii externa), while in woman it is interna], 
The Talmud thus stales, "Man has his passion on the outside, while 
woman has hers on the inside. * +! 



3:8 



him ipi d^sd p-w 0713 nan rm m pm 
:«'VQ3 napai r*«na ist ran pai 



He made Mem (a) king over water 
And Me bound a crown to it 
And He combined one with another 

And with them He formed 
Earth in the Universe 
Cold in the Year 
And the belly in the Soul: 

The male with MASH {v*us) 

And the female with AfShA (tn?n) 



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3:9 



Chapter Three 1 55 

Dim dSij/i cror (r k) ona uintDnt p-wi 

:K*iJ»3 ?l3pJl 0"KP3 "QT VD13 H7K71 H3P3 



/fr /mate S/un faj king over fire 
And He bound a crown to it 
And He combined one with another 

And with them Reformed 
Heaven in the Universe 
Hot in the Year 
And the head in the Soui: 

The mate with ShAM (mv) 

And thefemaie with ShMA (mat;). 46 



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CHAPTER FOUR 



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Chapter Four J 59 



4:1 



spSm His nppi -p n>3an .rrn ,Y"i ,d's 



.S?ww Doubles; 

Bet fa), Gimel fy. Daiet {% 
Kaffrf Peh fa), Resh (% Tav (n). 

They direct themselves with two tongues 
Bel-Bheu Gimd-Ghimei DatetDhatet, 
Kaf-Khaf, Peh-Phek Resh-Rhesh, Tav-Thav, 

A structure of soft and hard, 
strong and weak 



This is the set of double letters, each having two possible sounds J In 
the Tree of Life diagram, they correspond to the seven vertical 
lines. 

The double sound is retained by a)] Jews for Bet, Kaf, and Peh, 
The hard Bet (a) has the sound of b+ while the soft has the sound of 
v. The hard Kaf (a) has the sound of k, the soft, the sound of kh, Like 
the German ch, as in "doch" The hard Peh (») is pronounced Like a 
p, while the soft is like an / 

In all these cases, the hard sound is a plosive, pronounced in an 
explosive puff of sound. The soft sound is a fricative. 

The northern European Ashkenazic Jews pronounce the soft Tav 
[n) like an s. Most southern European Sefardic Jews pronounce both 
the hard and soft Tav the same, like a i. Some Sefardim pronounce 
the soft Tav Like a soft th, as in "thing."" 

The Yemenite Jews also distinguish between the soft and hard 
GimeL and Dalet. The soft Gimel <i> has the sound of a j, or among 
others, like a deep gutter al fricative g. The soft Dalet <n) has the 
sound of a hard th. as in "the" 

As a general rule, these six Letters, BGD KPT (nao iia), always 
take the hard form at the beginning of a word. This is one reason 
why no Biblical names are found beginning with an / This would 
imply a Peh {a) at the beginning of the name, and it would automati- 
cally take the hard sound, which is that of a p. 



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1*0 



SEFER VET2IRAH 



Table 2S. Resh with 


a Dagesh 


in the BiWe. 


1. HaRimah 


naunn 


1 Samuel 1:6. 


2. HaR'Uem 


QJTlHTT 


1 Samuel 10:24, 17:25, 2 King* 
6:32. 


3. Ra 


H 


Jeremiah 39:12, Proverbs 11:21, 
20:22, 


4, Kara: 


rrw 


Ezekiel 16:4. 


5. Sharekh 


T!? 


Ibid. 


6, Rosh 


tf«i 


Habakkuk 3:13. 


7. LeSharekha 


T* 1 ? 


Proverbs 3:8. 


8, Marat 


flTO 


Proverbs 14:10. 


9. Rakh 


TJ T 


Proverbs 15:1. 


10. SheRoshi 


*tftfTtf 


Song pf Songs 5;2 T 



The hard sound is distinuished by a dot, called a Dagesh. placed 
in the middle of the letter. 

Highly significant is the fact that the Resh (i) is here considered 
to be one of the Doubles. Most post-Talmudical grammarians take 
precisely the opposite view, and slate that the Resh never takes a 
Dagesh > Not only is there no verbal distinction between the hard and 
soft Resh, but modern Hebrew grammar does not even recognize 
such a difference in the written form. 

There are, however, ten different words, appearing in fourteen 
places in the Bible, which are written with a Resh containing a 
Dagesh. 2 See Table 28. It is obvious, however, that the usual rules 
applying to the letter* BGD KFT(n» tm), do not apply to the Resh. 

The present sound of the Resh is a fricative, and is therefore most 
probably the soft sound. The hard Resh was either lost or deliberately 
concealed after the destruction of the Temple In earlier times, its use 
was standard, and there is evidence from their transliteration of names, 
that its pronunciation was known to the authors of the Septuagint. 1 By 
the I Oth century, however, the double Resh was only used by the mem* 
bers of the small Mazva community in Tiberias/ 1 Tiberias had been the 
last city in which the Sanhedrin, the greal court which preserved the 
tradition, had flourished 5 This was one of the mysteries that the 
Sanhedrin had entrusted to the community of Tiberias. 

According to the Sefer Yetzirah (2:3), Resh is in the group of 
Dentals, ZSShRTi (new). Along with the letters Zayin (\), Samekh 
(o). Shin (if), and Tzadi (i), it is pronounced with the teeth. Accord- 
ing to the Long Version (2: 1), it is sounded "between the teeth, with 
the tongue lying down, spread out." We cannot say that it is a rolled 



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Chapter Four 1 6 1 

f sound, since this involves the tip of the tongue, li would I hen be 
closest 10 the / sound, and should be included among ihe Unguals, 
DTLNTh (juStn). Furthermore, the hard Resh should be a plosive* 
Like alt the other hard doubles. 

There is no r sound in use today that meets all these criteria, 
Furthermore, there is no plosive sound pronounced with the teeth 
that could be a candidate for the hard Resh. The original pronuncia- 
tion of this letter therefore remains a mystery. 



Hard and Soft 

The hard sound is currently indicated by a dot in the middle of 
the letter, known as a Dagesh. 

Before printing was introduced, most manuscripts also indi- 
cated the soft sound by a line above the letter, known as a Rafeh. 
This device is used in the Damascus "Keter Torah" Pentateuch, 
written in the ninth century,* In the Firkovich collection of the 
Library of the Academy of Science in Leningrad, there is a codex of 
the Bible, dated from the year 916, that also makes use of the Rafeh. 
As late as L4S0, this mark is found in handwritten Bibles and Prayer 
Books. 7 

The use of this mark is also mentioned by the Tikkuney 2ohar. 
It states that the Rafeh above the letter is like the "firmament above 
the Chayot" (Ezekiel 1:22).' 

The Tikkuney Zohar also states that the hard and soft sounds 
are related to the "Chayot running and returning" {Ezekiel 1:14). It 
says, "'they run with the hard sound, and return with the soft"' 
According to some commentaries, this indicates that the hard plo- 
sive sound is pronounced more quickly than the soft fricative 
sound 10 

However, since the Sefer Yetzirah (1:6) teaches that -running 
and returning" also relates to meditative techniques, it would appear 
that the hard and soft sounds were used for this purpose. These seven 
Doubles would be used to climb the vertical lines in iber Tree of Life, 
When the initiate would use the letters to "run" and climb upward, 
he would use the hard sound, and when he would "return/ he would 
use the soft sound. 

The Bahir states that the letters are the body of the script, while 
the vowels are its soul, 11 The later KahbalistS note that the Dagesh 
and Rafeh are neither vowels nor letters, but intermediate between 
the two. IJ It is this intermediate essence that man must perfect if he 
is to enter the domain of Sou I. 



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]« SEFER YETZ1RAH 



4:2 



jjtt "ncnp noon pro* rr-isa Tu mSis3 yap 



S^n Doubles: BGD KPRT (man -03) 
Their foundation is 

Wisdom* Wealth. Seed, 

Life, Dominance* Peace and Grace. 



These are the concepts that can be controlled through the seven dou- 
ble letters. The methods are similar to those outlined in chapter 2. 

These seven qualities parallel lhc seven \enical lines in the Tree 
of Life diagram. They also relate to the seven times ihat the phrase, 
"it was good," occurs in the account of creation. 



4:3 



rnrami -nana jvtds tm nbisa paw 
rman >jtv -wiy man n^w Tioan mian 
rimy m'tv oo m\or> mo o»*ri jmon tow jnr 
nip*3 fn jmaji nonta uhv jrnan 



£w« Doubles: BGD KPRT (rrao ti^ 

ja fywwft and in transposition. 
The transpose of Wisdom is Foliy 
The transpose of Wealth is Poverty 
The transpose of Seed is Desolation 
The transpose of Life is Death 
The transpose of Dominance is Subjugation 
The transpose of Peace is War 
The transpose of Grace is Ugliness, 



According to the Tikkuney Zohar, the hard sound implies harsh judg- 
ment, while the soft sound implies lenient judgment. 1 ; The good 
qualities would then be associated with the soft sound, and the bad 
qualities with the hard sound. There are, however, some authorities 
who reverse this. M 



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Chapter Four 163 

Transpose 

The word for "transpose" here is Temurah {rman}. Earlier, the 
Sefer Yetzirah said, w He engraved them, carved lhern h permuted 
them, weighed them, and transposed them" (2:2). The word for 
"transposed" there was ffemir (tbtt) + which has the same root as the 
term used here. Earlier, we followed the commentaries who inter- 
preted "transposed" to relate to the use of the standard ciphers. From 
the text here, however, it would appear that it denotes the transposi- 
tion between the hard and soft sounds of the Doubles. 

Peace , War 

Peace and war relate both to nations and to the individual. A 
person can be at war with himself, or at peace with himself. 15 These 
Letters can be used to transmit these qualities both to oneself or to 
another. 



4:4 



rnro rrtaoi n^pa jttbd Yin mViso yap 
■.rhn ™ asm Nim 



Seven Doubles: BGD KPRT {moz m) 

Up and down 

East and west 

North and south 
And the Holy Palace precisely in the center 

and it supports them ali 



Up and Down 

This should be compared to L:5 and 1:13. 

As discussed earlier, the six directions parallel the Six. Sefirot, 
The order given here would then be: Netzach. Hod, Tiferet, Yesod, 
Chesed, Gevurah. Also see Tables 29, 30 on page 164. 

The directions would indicate the direction that one must face, 
or the head motion that he use, when attempting to transmit the qual- 
ities mentioned in the last section. 



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164 SEFER YFTZIRAH 

Tabic 29. According to the Gra. 



Bel 


Wisdom 


Chesed 


South 


Gimel 


Wealth 


Gtvurah 


North 


Dalet 


Seed 


Tifcret 


East 


Kaf 


Life 


Netzach 


UP 


Pen 


Dominance 


Hod 


Down 


Resh 


Peace 


Yesod 


West 


Tav 


Grace 


Malkhut 


Center 



Table 30. Accord i 


ng 10 


Sefer 


HuKantih* 


Life 






Binah 


Peace 






Yesod 


Wisdom 






Chesed 


Wealth 






Gevurah 


Grace 






Tifcret 


Seed 






Nttiach 


Dominance 






Hod 



1 Stftr HaKanah S6b, Rtavid on ill { 1 9a). 

Two of these concepts are alluded to in the Talmud: **He who 
wishes wisdom, let him face south; He who wishes wealth, lei him 
face north.** 16 This was reflected in the Temple* where the Me no rah. 
which related to wisdom, was to the south, while the Table, indicat- 
ing wealth, was to the north. 

We see here that the letter Resh indicates peace. When there is 
no peace, this letter cannot be sounded correctly. 



The Holy Palace 

This is usually interpreted to denote Malkhut. 1 ' The Hebrew 
word for "Palace" here is Hekhai (Sacn). This has a numerical value 
of 65, ihe same as that of Adonoy Oru*)» the divine Name associated 
with MalkhuU* 

Besides being the lowest Sefirah, MaLkhut is also the end point 
of the Keter-Malkhut spiritual dimension. The "Holy Palace" in the 
center therefore not only relates to Malkhui alone, but also to its asso- 
ciation wilh Keter. In channeling sustenance from Kcter, the center 
point supports all the others, 14 

According to the Bahir, "Hekhai HaKodesh'' here should not be 
read as "Holy Palace,* but as "Palace of the Holy,"" The ""Holy" 



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Chapter Four 165 

denotes Keter, and the "Palace of the Holy" refers to Malkhut when 
it is directly connected to Kcter in the mystery of "Imbed their begin- 
ning in their end" (1:7). 

This also represents a great mystery in creation, as explained by 
Rabbi Judah Liva ( 1 525- 1609), the Maharal of Prague, famed as the 
creator of a Golem. He states that the reason why the world was cre- 
ated in six days is because a three-dimensional world has six direc- 
tions, as the Sefer Yettirah states here. Each day was necessary to 
complete one of these <i\ directions. The Sabbath is then the center 
point, which binds all together and supports them a]],- 1 The Sabbath 
thus represents Malkhut, but in the mode in which it is bound to 
Keter, 

These seven elements also parallel the seven branches of the 
Menorah." They are also alluded to in the verse. "Seven eyes on one 
sione" (Zechariah 3;9). 23 Another such allusion is the verse a "Give a 
portion to seven, also to eight" {Ectfesiasles 1 \:2). 14 As discussed ear- 
lier (1:3), the number seven denote int.- perfection of creation, while 
eight is the entrance into the transcendental. 



4:5 



w vh) ya& n'-iso rn hiSiso par 
Drr:i iipm otj jra row «Si pw 



Seven Doubles: BGD KPRT (msn -03) 

Seven and not six 

Seven and not eight 

Examine with them 

And probe with them 

Make {each} thing stand on its essence 

And make the Creator sit on Mis base. 

Seven and not six 

This is very much like 1:4, and the two should be compared 
The seven Doubles are often associated with the seven lower 
Sefirot. 3S Actually, however h these seven letters represent the seven 
vertical lines on the Tree of Life diagram. The seven lower Seilnot 
are merely the lower end points of these seven vertical lines. 



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166 SEFER YETZIRAH 

These letters are therefore the ladders leading upward from the 
seven lower Sefirot, and this is the way in which the two are associ- 
ated. One of (he main functions of the seven Doubles is thus to climb 
vertically on the ladder of the Sefirot, One rises through their hard 
sound, and descends with their soft sound- 
Trie Sefer Yetzirah warned us earlier that there were Ten Seflrot 
no more and no less (1:4). Here the te\l warns us that there are seven 
vertical paths, no more and no less, tf an eighth vertical paih were 
added, it would be taken as a path from Keter to the Infinite Being, 
and such a path cannot exist. Furthermore, if a path to Keter were 
omitted, one might be misled into thinking thai Keter is God, and 
this is also erroneous. 



Examine with them 

This is also similar to 1:4, 

One can probe and examine with these letters very much like 
one does with the Seflrot, In 1:4, however, the text also said, 
"Understand with wisdom, and be wise with Understanding," while 
here this is omitted. The discussion there involved i he by sic exercise 
of fluctuating between Chakhmah and Binah consciousness. Here, 
the exercise involves the letters themselves, rather than pure states 
of consciousness. 



Probe wiih ihem 

In 1:4 the reading was "probe from them,** while here it is "probe 
with them," 

When the text spoke of the Sefirot themselves, it could say, 
" probe from them," since it is from the Sefirot thai one receives spir- 
itual energy. Here, however, it is not the letters that provide spiritual 
energy, but the Sefirot to which they relate. The text therefore states, 
J probe with them T " indicating that the letters are the tools through 
which one can probe, w 

The upper six of these seven Sefirot represent the six directions. 
Malkhut is the center point, the "Holy Palace. w Taken subjectively, 
this "center point* is the center of being of the individual reaching 
up to the Sefirot. 

The first Sefirah that the initiate must reach is Malkhut, and he 
accomplishes this by meditating on the center, which is the center of 
his being. Only after he reaches Malkhut can he reach out to the other 



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Chapter Four 1 67 

Sefirot. The Bahir therefore identifies the "Holy Palace" with the 
very purest essence of thought. w 



4:6 



pam ppn -no* ji'im ym nhwi yiie 
d»3jto nyap orn uti pom jbp p ? 5-nf 
"Ot P5J3 onjw rrjtttt rwa d>o* nyjicr tf^D 



5fWfl Doubles: BGD KPRT (mm tuJ of Foundation 

He engraved J hem. He carved them. 

He permuted them. He weighed them. 

He transformed them. 
And with them He formed. 

Seven planets in the Universe. 

Seven days in the Year, 

Seven gates in the Sou/ r 
male and female* 



He engraved them... 

The: five methods mentioned here are the same as those in 2:2 
and 3:3. 



Seven planets 

The seven vertical paths associated with the seven Doubles are 
manifest in the physical world as the astrological forces associated 
with the seven planets: Saturn, Jupiter, Mai^ Sun, Venus, Mercury 
and Moon. 

In Timc T they are associated with the seven days of the week, 
while in man + they are the seven openings in the head. These will be 
enumerated in the following sections. 

The Talmud also speaks of the various influences of the planets and 
days of the week. : * These are closely related to their role in creation, and 
do noi appear to follow the system of Sefer Yetziiah* See TaWe 31 on 
page 168. The seven planets are abo associated with specific angels." 



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Chapter Four 



161 



Tabic 32. The days of the week and ihe planets according to the Tal- 
mud. Shabbat 156a. 



Sunday 


One-sidedness, Leadership 


Monday 


Anger, seclusiveness 


Tuesday 


Wealth, lechery 


Wednesday 


Intellect, memory 


Thursday 


Charity, generosity 


Friday 


Religious inclination 


Saturday 


Life, holiness 


Sun 


Independence, openness 


Venus 


Wealth, lechery 


Mercury 


Intellect, memory 


Moon 


Dependence, secret iveness, manic-depressiveness 


Saturn 


Inaction, invulnerability 


Jupiter 


Generosity 


Mart 


Blood 



These angels channel the influence of the seven vertical paths through 
the planets. See Table 32 . 

Also associated with the seven planets are specific signs, as well 
as a system of magic squares. 30 Sec figures 43 and 44 on pages 
] 70-171. The rule of seven also appears lo be related to the mystical 
Seven Seals mentioned by the early Kabbalists." See figure 45 on 
page 172, 

In order to understand the significance of the astrological forces, 
we must first understand the role of angels in the chain between the 
Sefirot and Ihe physical world. The Sefirot are in the Universe of 
Atzilut and below this is Beriyah, the universe of the Throne, which 
serves to allow the Sefirot to interact with the lower worlds. Between 
Beriyah and Asiyah is Yetzirah, the world of the angels. 

Yetzirah is known as the "world of speech .** The Talmud states 
that "Every word emanating from God creates an angel. " 3J This 
means that every one of God's words is actually an angel. When we 
speak of "God's word T w we are actually speaking of His interaction 
with the lower worlds. The force that traverses the spiritual domain 
is what we call an angeL 

The stars also form an important Link in God's providence over 
the physical world. 13 Between God and man, there axe many levels 
of interaction, the lowest being those of the angels and the stars. The 
Midrash thus teaches, "There is no blade of grass that does not have 
a constellation (Mazaft over it, telling it to grow.™ 14 



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170 



5EFERYETZIRXU 



Saturn 



Jupiter 



Mars 




Kaptziel 



Tzidkiel 



Samael 



c 



f 




Sun <XD Raphael *0 



Venus 



Merrurv 



Analhitl 



Moon 



> tp Michael °-p° 

J Gabriel \^j 



Figure 43. Seats of the planets [from Evven HaSnuham /j. 175b}. 

As the commentaries explain, God** providence works Through 
the angels, but these angels, in turn, work through the stars and plan- 
ets. As some authorities put it, the angels are, in a sense, like souls 
to the stars. Thus, for example, some sources speak of the stats as 
having intelligence, but the commentaries note that this is actually 
speaking of the angels that are associated with them." 

There are, however, two types of angels. We have already spoken 
of the teaching that there are angels created with every word of God 
Elsewhere we find that angels are created every day, with a new troop 
being made each morning. 34 On the other hand, there are many angels 
who are known by name, such as Gabriel and Michael who have per- 
manent existence. These are obviously a second kind of angel. 

This is closely related to another discussion. In the Midrash, 
there is a question as to when the angels were created. Some say that 
they were made on the second day of creation, while other? maintain 
that they were created on the fifth day. jT 



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Chapter Four 



171 





O <? 



Raphael 



Gab net 



6 6 6 



Samacl 



4^ 



-^ 



Michael 



Tztdkiel 







Anathie] 



Kapuicl 



Figure 44. Seats of the planetary angefs Uncording to 5 nosh an YeMxJ 
Olam# 1727 }. 

In discussing this, the Kabbalists arrive at a significant conclu- 
sion. They slate that there are two bask kinds of angels: permanent 
an ads and Temporary angeEs. The temporary angels were created on 
the second day. while the permanent ones, which are likened to the 
birds, were created on the fifth. They also state that an important 
difference between the permanent and temporary angels is the fact 
that only the permanent ones have names. 3 * 

One of the most important factors in astrology is the time and 
date of a person's birth. The Talmud thus states that there is a "Mazal 
of the hour.* 3 * The lime, day, and date upon which a person is born 
has an important influence: on his destiny. 

Elsewhere the Talmud leaches that there is an angel called 
Laylah that oversees birth. It is this angel that proclaims if the indi- 
vidual will be strong or weak* wise or foolish, rich or poor, 4 * 

Earlier, however, we discussed the Midrashic teaching, "One 
angel cannot have two missions, and two angels cannot share the 
same mission" <1:7) *' But if this is a general rule, how can a single 



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r: 



SEFER VETZIRAH 



D 



Yaiaih 



Ring 



Tmh Spear a*er ihrt'c lines 



/ Sum 

N 



Curved lino 



O 
6 



Sju u a Ladder wuh 1*0 sieps 



Agrcpli Spear over four tines 



Marom Ri^g 



Shamricl Crooked Mem 



Figur? 45. The seven seals, 

angel oversee the birth of every person who was ever to be born? 
Does this not mean that he has many missions? 

The same question also applies to all the permanent angels who 
have names. These angels, which were created on the fifth day, exist 
forever. In the course of their existence, they must have many tasks and 
missions. Why does this rule not hold true with regard to them? 

En answering these questions, the commentaries note that the 
angels are Like souls to the stars/ 2 A human soul is also a spiritual 
entity, and the same question could be asked about it. How can a 
single soul be involved in many tasks? But here the answer is obvious. 
The soul is integrated by its association with a single body. It is not 
differentiated into many souls by its many tasks, because its associa- 
tion with the body allows it to remain an integrated whole. 

The same is true of the angels having names. These angels are 
like souls to the stars, and this also means that the stars and planets 



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Chapter tour 



173 




Figure 46. The sewn planers {from Maaseh Toviah. p. 41b). 

are the "bodies" of these angeJs, See figure 46. As such, eaeh star 
serves as 3 focus for 3 particular angel, maintaining it as an integrated 
whole, even though it may have many different tasks. 

There is therefore a one-to-one relationship between the stars and 
angels. Each star has its own particular angel, and each angel has its own 
star, [l is this relationship that allows the named angels to have many 
tasks, and still not be differentiated into many angels by these tasks. Each 
named angel is integrated by the star that serves as its body. 

This also explains why the permanent angels have names. The 
Zohar teaches that every single star in the universe has a name^ This 
is derived from the verse, **He brings out their host by number, He 
calls them all by name" (Isaiah 40:26), It is also written, "He counts 
the number of the stars. He gives them each a name" (Psalms 147:4), 
The Midrash indicates that the different names of the stars corre- 
spond to the names of the different angels^* The one-to-one relation- 
ship is therefore clearly expressed. 

This also explains why the named angels were created on the fifth 
day, while the unnamed, temporary angels, were created on the second 
day. The named angels were associated with the stars, and could there- 
fore not be created until after the stars. The stars were not ere- 



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174 SEFER VETZ1RAH 

ated until the fourth day, and the angels could therefore not be cre- 
ated until the fifth. 



4:7 



msn pny t«m*r tiSijra ta^ir* rt^at? 
HJP3 d*o* nyjp .rujS dsid niu ran 
njpii -ot irW3 onjNF rryjtt .jrattrr *cr npzw 
:rtsm t)Nn op] w ow« >m o^*v to 



Seven planers in the Universe- 
Saturn, Jupiter. Mars, 
Sun, Venus, Mercury. Moon. 

Seven days in the Year: 

The seven days of the week 

Seven gales in the Soul, male and female: 
Two eyes, two ears, two nostrils, 
and the mouth. 



4:8 



-to h -ippi noons '3 nw -pSon 

:H3p31 "DT PSJ3 pO 1 JT?1 7T3M 



He made the letter Bet fa) king over Wisdom 

And He bound a crown to it 

And He combined one with another 
And with them He formed 

The Moon in the Unherse 

Sunday in the Year 

The right eye in the Soul, 
mate and female. 



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4:9 



Chapter Four 175 

:mpy\ -or vwj po* iw tots 



//p ffifli/f /te totfr Gimel fi) king over Wealth 

And He bound a crown to it 

And He combined one with another 
And with them He formed 

Mars in the Universe 

Monday in the Year 

The right ear in the Sou!, 
male and female. 



4:10 






/to mad* 1 //ff fetter Dalei fa) king over Seed 
And He bound a crown to it 
And He combined one with another 

And with them He formed 
The sun in the Universe 
Tuesday in the Year 
The right nostril in the Sout, 
male and female. 



4:11 



inn -h -wpi o»m r 3 nw -ybnn 
7*ti dv oWa mu ana ivi rm nr pivi 
:H3pi1 "Of mjj bwap |Ti riJM 



//e made the letter Kaffa) king over Life 
And He bound a crown to it 
And He combined one with another 

And with them He formed 
Venus in the Universe 
Wednesday in the Year 
The left eye in the Soul, 
mate and female. 



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176 SEFER VETZIRAH 



4:12 



01* aTijn 3313 Dru "in Tin rrr |styi tjto 
tnapji w PD33 Skop |tki hjp3 np*on 



//f modf //if teu^r Peh (a) king over Dominance 

And He bound a crown to it 

And He combined one with another 
And with them He formed 

Mercury in the Universe 

Thursday in the Year 

The lefi ear in the SouL 
male and female. 



4:13 



rapji -or pm Skqp -rrm rwa *vv 



He made the letter Resh fa) king over Peace 

And He bound a crown to it 

And He combined one with another 
And with them He formed 

Saturn in the Universe 

Friday in the Year 

The left nostril in the Soul 
male and female. 



4, A A |3"iyi "U"D lS TOTS} |H3 'H HW yhiZTl 
■ 1*1 W3 rw oi* dS^3 piy orrn tyi nr3 nr 

:^3pn 131 tf «3 Hfll 



/te madr the letter Tar (n) king over Grace 
And He bound a crown to it 
And He combined one with another 

And with them He formed 
Jupiter in the Universe 
The Sabbath in the Year 
The mouth in the Soui, 
male and female. 



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Chapter Four 177 

Here the Sefer Yelzirah discusses the letters in relation to the 
primary trails, the planets, the days of the week, and the parts of the 
body. There are a number of variation in these assignments, and the 
more important ones are given in Table 33 on pages 1 78-179. 

Each Letter can be used to influence the part of the body with 
which it is associated. This can be accomplished through using the 
array of 221 (or 231) Gates associated with that letter. These letters 
are used in a similar manner when creating a Golem, 

Most important arc (he relationships between the letters, days of 
the week, and plane is and between the seven primary traits: Wisdom, 
Wealth, Seed, Life, Dominance, Peace and Grace, One can use the 
methods of the Sefer Yelzirah to attain or enhance any one of these 
by using the soft pronunciation of the seven Doubles. If one wishes 
to transmit their opposite, one uses the hard pronunciation. 

Like other stanzas, this can also be read in the imperative: 
"Make Bet king over Wisdom, bind a crown to it, and combine one 
with another, and with them form. 

The meditation involves using the seven Doubles in this manner. 
The dominant letter is placed at the beginning, and the other six let- 
ters are then permuted. Thus, if one was seeking to transmit Wisdom, 
one would place Bel {3j at the beginning, and one would then per- 
mute the remaining letters, GD KPRT (m» -ii>, in every possible 
manner. Similarly, if one were seeking Wealth, one would place 
GimeJ 0) at the beginning, and would permute the letters BD KPRT 
(rriM tj) in all 720 possible ways. The permutation with which one 
begins is given in Table 34 on page 180- 

At the same time, one should contemplate the part of the body 
associated with that particular trait. Thus, for Wisdom, one would 
concentrate on the right eye, while for Wealth, on the right ear. In a 
similar manner, one should also concentrate on the appropriate 
direction. 

Also important is the day of the week associated with each trait. 
If one wishes to transmit a certain trait, it is best done on the speci- 
fied day of the week. 

In using these methods, one must also take planetary influences 
into account. Besides the influences given here T there are others given 
in Bercila of Shmuel HaKatan, which appear to be closer to those 
expressed in Western astrology T 4i See Table 35 on page 1 80. 

Influence extends only from the visible members of our solar sys- 
tem. The distant planets such as Uranus, Neptune and Pluto, which 
are invisible to the unaided eye, are not considered to have any sig- 
nificant astrological influence. If one were to take these into account, 
one would also have to consider dozens of asteroids which would 
exert an even greater influence. 



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:$u 



SEFER YETZIRAH 



Table 34, Permutations of the seven Doubles 
(according to Saadiu B here). 



Bet 


" 


BOD KPRT 


m» tu 


Gimel 


; 


GBD KPRT 


m» iu 


Dalei 


- 


DGB KPRT 


nriD3 3in 


Kaf 


2 


KPRT BGD 


■m rraa 


Peh 


a 


PRT BGDK 


yva ma 


Resh 


-i 


RTBG DKP 


MT«jn 


Tav 


n 


TBG DKPR 


TP3T 13/1 



Table 35. Influence* according to Bare ha of 5b mud HaKatan 
(see note 45). 



Saturn Poverty, destruction, internal injury and sickness. 
Mar* Blood, wickedness, strife, external injury b war, hatred, 

jealousy. 
Jupiter Life, peace, good, prosperity, religious feelings, joy h 

wealth, political advance, 
Venus Grace, love, lust, children, fruit fulness. 
Mercury Wisdom^ skill, writing, language. 
Sun Light, darkness, work, accomplishment, travel, exile. 

Moon Holds keys to heaven and earth, surrogate for good and 

evil. 



The influence of the planets in the system of Sefer Yeuirah does 
not depend on their position in the sky, but on the hour of the day. 
This is discussed in a number of Talmudical and Kabbalistic 
sources 4 * 

In order of their distance from Earth, the planets are: Saturn, 
Jupiter, Mars, Sun, Venus 1 Mercury, Moon. Of these, Saturn is fur- 
thest from the Earth, and the Moon is closest,*- 

According to the Bible, the stars and planets were made on the 
Fourth Day of creation (Genesis L14-19). Counting from Sunday, 
the Fourth Day was Wednesday. 

In Biblical reckoning, however, night always preceeds day. The 
Torah therefore consistently says, "It was evening, and it was morn- 
ing,"* Evening always preceeds morning. 

The planets were placed in their positions on the eve of the 
Fourth Day. that is, on Tuesday night. They were placed one at a 
time, an hour apart, in order of their distance from earth. Thus, in 
the first hour (6 p.m), Saturn was placed in its position. In the second 
hour (7 pm). Jupiter was positioned- The order of creation of the 
seven planets was then as follows; 



Copyrighted material 







Chapter four 


First hour 


6 pw. 


Saturn 


Second hour 


7 P.M. 


Jupiter 


Third hour 


8 P.M. 


Mars 


Fourth hour 


9 PM 


Sun 


Fifth hour 


10 pm 


Venus 


Sixth hour 


1 1 P.M. 


Mercury 


Seventh hour 


12 P.M. 


Moon 



18] 



This is the ordering found of the eve of Wednesday on the chart of 
planetary influences. 

Each planet then dominated the hour in which it was positioned. 
After the first seven hours, iheir dominance began a new cycle, with 
the ptanets in the same order. This seven hour cycle continues 
throught the week, and it is the same every week. The entire weekly 
cycle is given in the label of planetary influences see Table 36 on 
page 182. 

One immediately notices that the first hour of each evening is 
dominated by a different planet, in the following order: 



Sun. 


Mon, 


Tues. 


Wed, 


Thurs. 


Fri. 


Sat. 


Mercury 


Jupiter 


Venus 


Saturn 


Sun 


Moon 


Mars 


The first hour of each day is dominated by the planets in the 
following manner 


Sun, 


Mon. 


Tues, 


Wed, 


Thurs, 


Fri. 


Sat, 


Sun 


Moon 


Mars 
<Tew) 


Mercury 
(Woden) 


Jupiter 
(Thor) 


Venus 
(Frigg) 


Satum 



Note thai the name of each day is associated with the planet that 
dominates its first hour in the morning, 16 Thus, Sunday is dominated 
by the Sun + Monday (moon day) T by the Moon T and Saturday, by Sat- 
um. In the English names of the other days, the Nordic or Germanic 
names of the planets are used. 

The Romans had originally named the days after the planets 
dominating their first hour. This nomenclature still survives in the 
Romance languages. Thus, in French* Tuesday is Mardi (Mars' day}, 
Wednesday is Mercredi (Mercury's day), Thursday is Jeudi (Jupiter's 
day), and Friday is Vendredi (Venus' day), 

Saturn dominates Saturday t which is the Sabbath, In Hebrew, 
Sabbath is Shabbat (Jiaff), and hence, Saturn is called Shabbatai 

The planet that dominates the first hour of the day or night is 
said to dominate that entire period. The most auspicious times. 



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182 












1 


Venus 

Mercury 

Moon 

Saiurn 

Jupiier 

Mars 

Sun 

Venus 

Mercury 

Moon 

Saiurn 

Jupiier 




Mars 

Sun 

Venus 

Mercury 

Moon 

Saiurn 

Jupiier 

Mars 

Sun 

Venus 

Mercury 

Moon 




I 


U (A J c C 'j irtZl 


d 
o 

5 


Moon 

Saiurn 

Jupiter 

Mars 

Sun 

Venus 

Mercury 

Moon 

Saiurn 

Jupiier 

Mars 

Sun 




1 


3 _ C u irt => _ C m 




Sun 

Venus 

Mercury 

Moon 

Saturn 

Jupiier 

Mars 

Sun 

Venus 

Mercury 

Moon 

Saturn 




& 


Mars 

Sun 

Venus 

Mercury 

Moon 

Saturn 

Jupiier 

Mars 

Sun 

Venus 

Mercury 

Moon 


5 


Saturn 

Jupiier 

Mars 

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Mercury 

Moon 

Saturn 

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Mars 

Sun 

Venus 




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Saturn 

Jupiter 

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Mercury 

Moon 

Saturn 

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Jupiter 

Mars 

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Chapter Four 



IK.1 



Table 37, Concepts and auspicious times (according to Cra). 



Wisdom 

Bel, Moon, right eye, Chesed, south, white; 
Saturday night, 7-8 p.m., 2-3 am; Sunday, 9-10 am., 
4-5 p.m. 
Wealth, Love 

Gimel, Mars, right ear, Gevuralu north, red; 
Sunday night, 7-8 p.m., 2-3 *. M .; Monday, 9-10 am, 
4-5 p.m. 
Seed: Children and things relating to them 

Dalet, Sun, right nostril, Tiferet, east, yellow; 
Monday night, midnight- 1 am; Tuesday, 7-8 *.«, 
2-3 p.m 
Life, Health 

Kaf, Venus, left eye, Netzach, up, upper eyelid; 
Tuesday night, 10-11 pm., 5-6 a.m.; Wednesday, 
noon-1 p.m. 
Dominance, Advancement 

Pen, Mercury, left ear, Hod, down, lower eyelid; 
Wednesday night, 8-9 pm, 3-4 am; Thursday, 
10-11 AM., 5-6 PM 
Peace* internal and external 

Resh, Saturn, left nostril, Yesod, west, black; 
Thursday night, 7-8 p.m , 2-3 am ; Friday, 9-10 am, 
4-5 p.m. 
Grace, attractiveness, personality improvement 

Tav, Jupiter, mouth, Maikhut, center (self), blue; 
Friday night, midnight- L am.; Saturday, 7-8 am, 

2-3 p.M. 
Be careful not to violate Sabbath. 



however, are those associated both with the correct day and with the 
correct planet. See Table 36 on page 1 82. Thus, for example, in our 
(Gra) version of Sefer Yetzirah, both Sunday and the Moon are associ- 
ated with Wisdom, During the day on Sunday, the Moon is dominant 
in the fourth and eleventh hours, or from 9-10 am and from 4-5 p« 
These are then the most auspicious times for working to attain 
Wisdom/" 

There is a commandment. *There shall not be found among 
you, . . one who calculates times {MeOnanT { Deuteronomy 18:10). 
In the Talmud, according to Rabbi Akiba, this specifically applies to 
one who calculates auspicious times, and a number of authorities 
accept this opinion as binding.' This, however, only means that one 



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SEFEft YETZIRAH 



Table 38. Days and the 42-letter name. 



] 


Sunday 


ABG YThTz 


tJV 13*t 


2 


Monday 


KRO ShTN 


|w jnp 


3 


Tuesday 


NOD YKSh 


W 113 


4 


Wednesday 


BTR TzThG 


1TWT03 


5 


Thursday 


ChKB TNO 


VJO 3fWl 


6 


Friday 


YGL PZK 


p?B Si* 


7 


Saturday 


ShKU TzYTh 


nr tpp 



Table 39, Days 


, vowels and angels. 




Sunday 


Semeturia, GezerieJ, Ve'enaeL Lemuel 


Sesol 


Monday 


Shmaiyel, Berekhiel, Ah an id 


ShVa 


Tuesday 


Chaniel. Lahadie!, Machniel 


Cholam 


Wednesday 


Chizkiel. Rahitiel, Kidashicl 


Chirak 


Thursday 


Shmuaiel, Ra'umiel, Kuniel 


Shurek 


Friday 


Shi mush ieL Raphael, Kidushiel 


Shurek 


Saturday 


TzurieL Raziel, Yofiel 


Tzerey 



should not make astrology a dominant influence in one's daily life. 
As we see from all the commentaries on Sefer Yetzirah, when one is 
engaged in these mystical techniques* this prohibition is not 
applicable, 51 See Table 37 on page 183, 

Although most versions of Sefer Yetzirah set the planets in the 
order in which they were created, the Gra version, which we are 
using, follows a different system. It is based on the ordering of the 
planets as found in the Zohar." There, we find the following relation- 
ship between the planets, Sefirot and colors: 



Moon 


Mars 


Sun 


Saturn 


Jupiter 


Venus 


Mercury 


While 


Red 


Yellow 


Black 


Blue 


upper 
eyelid 


lower 
eyelid 


Chesed 


Gevurah 


Tiferet 


Yesod 


Malkhui 


Neuach 


Hod 


Sun. 


Man. 


Tues, 


Fri. 


Sat, 


Wed. 


Thurs. 



When the Sefirot and days are placed in their usual order, the planets 
appear in the order given in our version of Sefer Yet/ i rah. This version 
therefore is that which fits most closely to the teachings of the Zohar. 

The association with colors is also significant, since one can also 
meditate on these colors when seeking to transmit the associated 
influence. The colors are also useful in general in meditations involv- 
ing the Sefirot." 

Also associated with the days of the week are the Letters of the 
42-letter name. See Table 38. This can be used in various meditations 
involving these days," The same is true of the angels associated with 
each day." See Table 39, 



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4:15 



Chapter Four 1 85 

,nirw yap ^yi nsnt? ,moSiy rryap 
njOT .rmaia nyw ,nnru nyw >o»n» nyw 
,}'itd# ystt ,dw yaw ,niyi3V nyw ,cra; 
jw 3sn -psS .tnprr bs+m ,nfanv rtjw 
:D*Dt7n ba nnrt m»y*3i?n 



Srvro Doubles: BGD KPRT (nsa -oqj 
TffrA /Aem were engraved 

Seven Universes, seven firmaments* 

seven lands, seven seas. 

seven rivers, seven deserts, 

seven days, seven weeks, 

seven years, seven sabbaticals, 

seven jubilees, 

and the Holy Palace, 
Therefore, He made sevens beloved 

under all ihe heavens. 



Seven Universes 

The later Kabbalists write that these are the Seven Chambers in 
the Universe of BeriyaK* These are given in Table 40 on page 
186. 

Of these, the two Lowest, "Brickwork of Sapphire" and "Essence 
of Heaven," are mentioned in the verse, "They saw the God of Israel 
and under His feet was the "Brickwork of Sapphire," dear like the 
'Essence of Heaven'" (Exodus 24:10). These Seven Chambers parallel 
the seven lower Sefirot in the Universe of Atzilut, They also parallel 
the seven watches of angels in the Universe of Yetzirah. 

Some early souces slate lhat these Seven Universes are the seven 
thousand years that the world is supposed to exist. r The first six par- 
allel the six weekdays, while the seventh thousand years is the "day 
when al! will be Sabbath. " ! * 

Others relate the Seven Universes to the Kabbaiistic doctrine of 
Sabbaticals, This states that there are seven distinct periods of cre- 
ation, each lasting seven thousand years. 59 According to some 
Kabbati&ts, the present creation is the second* while others state that 
it is the sixth or seventh. In any case, there are seven cycles, each 
seven thousand years long. This means that the universe as we know 
it will last for 49.000 years. 



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146 SEFER VETZERAH 

Table 40. The seven chambers of the Universe of Ben yah. 



Kodesh Kedashim 


Holy of Holies 


Raizon 


Desire 


Ahavah 


Love 


Zekhut 


Merit 


Nogah 


Luster 


Elzem HaShiimayirn 


Essence of Heaven 


Livnat HaSappir 


Brickwork of Sapphire 



According to the master Kabbalists, Rabbi Isaac of Acco, when 
counting the years of these cycles, one must not use an ordinary phys- 
ical year, but rather, a divine year,» The Msdrash says that each 
divine day is a thousand years, basing this on the verse » U A thousand 
years in Your sight are as but yesterday" (Psalms 90:4K 61 Since each 
year contains 365 V* days, a divine year would be 365,250 years 
long. 

According to this, each cycle of seven thousand divine years 
would consist of 2 T 5 56, 750,000 earthly years. This figure of two-and- 
a-half billion years is very close to the scientific estimate as to the 
length of time that life has existed on earth. 

If we assume that the seventh cycle began with the Biblical 
account of creation, then this would have occurred when the universe 
was L 5 b 340, 500,000 years old. This is very close to the scientific esti- 
mate that the expansion of the universe began some fifteen billion 
years ago. 

The current Hebrew year is 5736, In this calendar, the year in 
which Adam was created is counted as year one, If we then count the 
Biblical genealogies from the time of Adam, we find that 5736 years 
have elapsed since the lime he was formed. However, the Kabbalists 
clearly say that other human beings existed before Adam, and this is 
even supported in scripture.* 2 

Actually, there are two accounts of creation in the Book of Gene- 
sis. The first chapter of Genesis speaks of the initial creation of the 
universe, while the second chapter speaks of the creation of Adam, 
During the six days of creation described in the first chapter, God 
did not actually create the world, but rather, created the ingredients 
which would allow the world to develop. It thus refers to the creation 
of all matter, along with space and time." It was during these six days 
that God brought the universe into being from absolute 
nothingness." 

After these six days of creation, God allowed the universe to 
develop by itself, renewing His creation each seven thousand divine 
years or 2.5 billion earthly years. All the laws of nature and the prop- 



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Chapter f-our 1(7 

Table 41. Firmaments, earths, and attributes (from Otznr HitShpmy 



1 


Vilon 


Eretz 


Chesed 


Life 


2 


Rakia 


Adamah 


Gevurah 


Peace 


3 


Shachakim 


Arka 


Tiferet 


Wisdom 


4 


Zevul 


Charba 


Netzach 


Grace 


.5 


Ma'on 


Yabashah 


Hod 


Wealth 


6 


Makhon 


Tevel 


Vesod 


Seed 


7 


Are vol 


Chalad 


Malkhut 


Dominance 



erlies of matter had been fixed for all lime, as it is written, "He has 
established them forever; He has made a decree which shall not be 
transgressed" (Psalms 148:6)," It is similarly written, "Whatever God 
decrees shall be forever; nothing shall be added to it, and nothing 
shall be taken away" (Ecdesiastes 3: 1 4). 6t 

Each of the six cycles of creation brought something new into 
the world. The fifth cycle was the one that brought forth life, and 
this look place around two and a half billion years ago. Around 
974 generations before Adam, or some 25,000 years ago, man 
developed all the physical and mental capabilities thai we possess 
today.* 1 This man had evolved from "the dust of the earth" (Gene- 
sis 2:7), but he still Lacked the divine soul that would make him a 
spiritual being. God then created Adam, the first true human being 
with a soul, *and He blew in his nostrils a soul of Life" (Genesis 
2:7). 6> According to tradition, the creation of Adam look place on 
Rosh HaShanah, the Hebrew New Year, which occurred on Sep- 
tember 9, 3761 a.u.E. M 



Seven Firmaments 

These are listed in the Long Version (4:13) as being: Vilon, 
Rakia, Shechakim, Zevul, Ma'on, Makhon, Aravot These are also 
mentioned in the Talmud, 70 See Table 41. 

According to the Ari T these parallel the sevtn lower Sefirai of the 
Universe of Asiyah. 71 



Seven Earths 

The Long Version (4:13) lists these as: Adamah, Tevel, 
Nash iy ah, Tzaya, Chalad, Eretz, Chalad, Another source gives them 
as: Eretz, Adamah, Arkah, Gey, Tzaya, Nasya, TeveL ?; Still another 



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IBS SEFER YETZ1RAH 

ancient source lists them: Eretz, Adamah, Arka, Chart va tp Yabasha, 
Tevel Chalad. 73 

According to many authorities, these refer to the seven conti- 
nents; North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, Aus- 
tralia, Antarctica.™ There is no continent on the north pole, and 
hence, the nonh i& said \o be "open." 75 

Both the seven firm a men is and the seven earths are said to paral- 
lel the Sefirot in the lower world. They also parallel the seven attri- 
butes under discussion here. 

Seven Seas 

Many commentaries state that these are the seven lakes and seas 
in the Holy Land. 76 

In modern terminology, the seven seas represent Ihc seven 
oceans: the North Atlantic, South Atlantic, North Pacific, South 
Pacific, Indian Ocean, Arctic Ocean, Antarctic Ocean. The seas in 
the Holy Land represent a microcosm of these oceans. 

Seven Rivers 

These are the seven rivers associated with the Holy Land: The 
Jordan, Yarmoch, Kirmyon, Poga T Pishon, Gichon, Chidekel. 77 The 
Euphrates is not counted because it includes them all. 18 These parallel 
the great rivers of the world. 

Seven Deserts 

These are the seven deserts through which the Israelites passed 
during the Exodus from Egypt: Eitan, Shun Sin, Sinai, Paran, Tzin, 
Kadmut,™ 

Seven Days 

These are the seven days of the week. They are also the seven 
days of the major festivals, Pesach {Passover) and Succot 
(Tabernacles), 

Seven Weeks 

These are the seven weeks between Pesach and Shavuot. The 
Torah thus says, "You shall count from the day after the holiday, . . r 
seven complete weeks* (Leviticus 23:15). 



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Chapter Four \89 

Seven Years 

These are the seven years in the Sabbatical cycle. The Torah pre- 
scribes that on the seventh year the land should lie fallow and not be 
worked: "Six years shall you sow your field. . .but the seventh year 
shall be a Sabbath of solemn rest for the land" (Leviticus 25:3-4). 



Seven Sabbaticals 

At the end of seven Sabbatical cycles, the Jubilee year was cele- 
brated . All staves would then be freed, and real property would be 
returned to its hereditary owner. The Torah states* "You shall num- 
ber seven Sabbaticals, seven times seven years , , , making forty-nine 
years . . . And you shall sanctify the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty 
throughout the land ... it shall be a jubilee to you" (Leviticus 
25:8J0). 



Seven Jubilees 

This is seven times 49 (or SO) years, a total of 343 (or 350) years^ 
The First Temple stood for 410 years, and during this period, Israel 
observed seven jubilees.* 

This also relates to the concept of Sabbaticals of creation, where 
each jubilee period consists of 49,000 years. There will be seven such 
jubilee periods, and the universe will therefore last a total of 343,000 
years. These are divine years, each one consisting of 365,250 earthly 
years. Thus, the total time between the initial expansion and final 
collapse of the universe will be 125,287,500,000 years. This figure of 
125 billion years is very close to the scientific calculation. After this 
period the universe will become completely spiritual. 

One of the aspects of the future world will be extreme longevity 
on the part of mankind, Regarding this period, it is foretold, **As a 
child one shall die at a hundred years old" (Isaiah 65:20).* [ According 
io Rabbi Isaac of Acco T the lifespan will have become so extended 
that one who dies at the age of a hundred will be considered like a 
child currently dying at the age of 3, Thus* the normal lifespan will 
be approximately 33 times its present value, or around 2,000 years, 82 
Isaac of Acco furthermore states that these will be divine years, so 
the human Lifespan will eventually be extended to the order of eighty 
million years!* 1 



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190 SEFER YETZIRAH 

The Holy Palace 

The is the seventh point, the center of the other six, as explained 
above (4:4). 



He made sevens beloved 

According to Rabbi Abraham Abulafia, there are seven levels in 
creation; Form, matter, combination, mineral, vegetable, animal, and 
man, Man is thus the seventh level, and is most beloved by God,* 4 



4:16 



en** ipStt ,oto w ritiu ctj3« 'ntt 
nuia Q*J3N jm« ,D*m nw nun 
wo n^u o*33K ttan ,[rra onttyi npjTX 
jtkd yap nuu d>J3x w ,oto onpjn 
o'dSk nwan mia n*j3« jaw ,dto n*nwj?i 
|w rm alp™ tot yroi jeoa ,trm tfyrw 
yynvb nbo* frittrr p*ti -an 1 ? Su» run 



Two stones build 2 houses 

Three stones build 6 houses 
Four stones bitiid 24 houses 
Five stones build 120 houses 
Six stones build 620 houses 
Seven stones build 5040 houses 

From here on go out and calculate 
that which the mouth cannot speak 
and the ear cannot hear 



Two stones 

Here the letters of the alphabet are called "stones." The 
KabbaLists say that they are "stones quarried from the great Name of 
God,"** 

The tent here is discussing the number of permutations possible 
with a given number of letters. If one has 2 letters, AB, one can per- 



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Chapter Four 191 

mute them in 2 ways: AB and BA. These are ihe "2 stones" that 
"build 2 houses." 

If one has 3 Letters, one can make 6 permutations: ABC, ACB, 
BAC, BCA T CAB T CBA. Use has already been made of this above 
(1:13, 3:6-3), fn a similar manner, 4 Letters can be permuted in 24 
ways, and 5 in 120. 

The numbers are not difficult to obtain. If one starts with one 
teller X, a second Letter can be placed either to its right or to its left. 
This gives 2 perm uta lions: AX and XA. 

Now if we take each combination XV, we can place a third tetter 
in three possible positions: AXY, XAY, XYA. Since the letters XY 
themselves could be permuted in 2 ways, the total number of permu- 
tations is 2 x X or 6. 

Similarly, if we have 3 letters X YZ, a fourth letter can be placed 
in one of 4 places: AXYZ, XAYZ, XYAZ, XYZA. Since the 3 letters 
XYZ can be permuted in 6 different ways, the total number of per- 
mutations is 6 x 4, or 24. 

If we then take 4 Letters WX YZ h a fifth letter can be inserted on 
one of 5 places: AWXYZ, WAXYZ, WXAYZ, WXYAZ, WXYZA. 
Since WXYZ can be permuted in 24 ways, the total number of per- 
mutations is 5 x 24, or L2(X 

We therefore see, that for a given number of letters, the number 
of permutations is given by 

1 x 2 x 3 x T H , . x iV, 

This is known as N factorial, and is usually written n! "The number 
of permutations for all numbers of letters up to 22 is given in Tables 
42 and 43 on page 192. 

In general, letter permutations played an important role in the 
practices of the meditative Kabbalists, These permutations were 
often chanted very much Like a mantra in order to bring about a 
desired state of consciousness,** A number of such texts contain 
extensive tables of such permutations. 87 



That which the mouth cannot speak 

This expression is also found in the Talmud," 

Assume that a person wished to pronounce all 5040 possible per- 
mutations of seven letters. He would therefore have to pronounce a 
total of 5040 x 7, or 35.2B0 letters. Assuming that he could pro- 
nounce three Letters a second, it would take over three hours to recite 
them all. Difficult, but not impossible. 



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i« 



SEFER YETZ1RAH 



Table 42. Permutations 


for 7 letters. 










Number of 












Letters 


Permutations 










L 


1 






_ 


1 


2 


1 x2 






= 


2 


3 


1x2x3 






= 


6 


4 


1 x 2 x 3 x 4 






- 


24 


J 


1 x 2 x 3 x 4 x 


5 




= 


L20 


6 


1 x 2 x 3 x 4x 


5 


x6 


= 


720 


7 


1 x 2 x 3 x 4 x 


5 


x6x 7 


- 


5040 



Table 43. Permutations 


for 22 letters. 




Number of 






Letter 


Permutations 


N 


1 


1 


1! 




2 


2! 




6 


3! 




24 


4! 




120 


5! 




720 


6! 




5,040 


7! 


* 


40.320 


8! 


9 


362.BS0 


9! 


to 


3,628,800 


10! 


LI 


39,916.800 


11! 


12 


479,001,600 


12! 




6,227,020,800 


13! 




87,17^,291,200 


14! 




1307,674,368,000 


15! 




20.922,789,888,000 


16! 




355,687.428,096,000 


17! 




6,402,373,705,728,000 


18! 




121,645,100,408,832,000 


19! 


20 


2,432,902,008,176,640,000 


20! 


21 


5 1 ,090,942, L 7 1 ,709,440,000 


21! 


22 


1,124,000,727,777,607,680,000 


22! 



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Chapter tow 193 

If one wished to pronounce ail possible permutations of tight let- 
tens, he would have to recite a total of 40,320 x S t or 322,560 letters. 
At the same rate, this would take approximately thirty hours* For all 
practical purposes, this is outside the realm of normal human capa- 
bility. The text therefore states that this is something that "the mouth 
cannot speak, and the ear cannot hear.* 5 

The Sefer Yetzirah includes it here, since it is possible to pro- 
nounce all the permutations of the seven Doubles, and apparently. 
this was done in some techniques. 9 * In the next chapter, the text will 
be speaking of the twelve Elementals, which can be permuted almost 
a half billion ways. At the same rate as above, it would take 63 years 
to pronounce all these permutations. 

From Table 43, we see that there are about a sextillion ( 1 G 11 ) pos- 
sible permutations of all 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet. This is 
very close to the total number of stars in the observable universe. 
This universe contains around a hundred billion (10 11 ) galaxies, each 
one with approximately ten billion (10 10 ) stars. A very similar figure 
is also found in the Talmud. w Thus, from the permutations of the 
alphabet* a name can be formed for every star in the universe^ This 
is in accordance with the teaching that every star has an individual 
name." 



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CHAPTER FIVE 



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5:1 



Chapter Five IfT 



po> /p 'y 7 /d j j ,L ? /' 'B 
w*opji ,nvjrD njratr rr«~i ,-pSrt ™ti rtrov 
:ptnp no^b »n ,tii*p m 



7ive/w Elemental: 

Heh fcA Fav f», Zaj™ ft + 

Lamed {i) v Nun fy, Samekh (q), 
Eytn ftj, Tzadi «, Au/fr/ 
Their foundation is 

speech, thought, motion, 
sight, hearing* action, 
coition, smell, sleep, 
anger, taste, laughter. 



Anger 

This can also be interpreted as temper or agressiveness. 

Taste 

The Hebrew word here, L'eitah, literally means swallowing. 
Many commentaries, however, interpret it to mean taste. 1 

These attributes do not have opposites. They can either be pres- 
ent or absent, but their absence is not the opposite of their presence. 
They are therefore represented by the twelve Elemental*, which only 
have a single sound. 

As we shall see, these qualities parallel the twelve months, as well 
as the twelve signs of the zodiac. They also have a parallel in the 
twelve tribes of Israel, 

There are two ways of ordering the twelve tribes* The first is that 
which occurs in the beginning of the Book of Exodus (1:2-5 ): Reuben, 
Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issaehar, Zebulun, Benjamin, Dan, Naftali, 
Gad, Asher, Joseph. 5 

The first six here arc Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, and 
Zebulun + These are the sia sons of Leah in order of their birth . J Then 



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Chapter Five 



199 



comes Benjamin, the son of Rachel Joseph, the other son of Rachel, 
was in Egypt, and is therefore not mentioned until the end. Following 
these are Dan and Naftali, the sons of fiilhah, Rachel's handmaid. 
Then comes Gad and Asher, the sons of Leah's handmaid, Zilpah, 
who were bom after the sons of Bilhah. 

A number of authorities list the twelve tribes in this orders 
According to this, Joseph^ sign comes out to be Pisces (Dagim), and 
this is also reflected in Talmudic teachings 5 (see Table 44). 

Other authorities list the tribes in the order of their camps in the 
deserts See figure 47 on page 2Q0 This order is^ Judah n Issachar, 
Zebulun; Reuben, Simeon, Gad; Ephraim, Manasseh, Benjamin; 
Dan, Asher, Naftali. 7 On the eastern camp was Judah, Issachar and 
Zebulun; on the south, Reuben, Simeon, and Gad; on the west* 
Ephraim, Manasseh, and Benjamin, and on the north. Dan h Asher, 
and Naftali. According to some authorities, this was also the order 
of the stones on the Urim and Thumim.* 

This change of order occured after Levi was given the priesthood 
and removed from the order of the tribes. To complete the twelve, 
Joseph was divided into two tribes, Ephraim and Manasseh. This was 
in accordance to Jacob's blessing, "Ephraim and Manasseh shall be 
Like Reuben and Simeon to me" {Genesis 48:5). 

When the traits are in the order given in our (Gra) version, the 
tribes must be matched up with them in the order of the camps.* The 
division of Joseph, however, is not considered, and therefore, Joseph 
is in the place of Ephraim, and Levi in the place of Manasseh. See 
Table 45. 



Table 45. The Gra version . 






Month 


Quality 


Tribe 




Nissan 
Iyar 
Si van 


Speech 

Thought 

Action 


Judah 

Issachar 

Zebulun 




Tamuz 

Av 

Elul 


Sight 

Hearing 

Action 


Reuben 
Simeon 
Gad 




Tishnci 

Cheshvan 

Kislev 


Coition 

Smell 

Sleep 


Ephraim 

Manasseh 

Benjamin 


(Joseph) 
{Levi) 


Tevet 

Shevat 

Adar 


Anger 
Taste 

Laughter 


Dan 
Asher 

Naftali 





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200 



SEFEK VETZLRAH 



North 

Dan 

Ashcr 

Nafiah 



Wtil 




East 


F-phraim 




Judah 


Men awn 




taai-har 


Benjamin 




A'Hulun 



South 
Rcuhi'ii 
Simeon 
Gad 



Figure 47. The tribes it! the desert 



These twelve attributes also parallel the twelve permutations of 
the Tetragrammaton, Even though four letters can normally be per- 
muted 24 different ways, since two letters are the same here, this 
number is halved, 10 See figure 48. 

One begins with the name YH VH, Retaining the Y at the begin- 
ning, the V is first placed at the end (YHHV), and then immediately 
after the Y (YVHH). See figure 49 on page 202. 

The Y is then placed at the end, setting the first H in the begin- 
ning (HVHY). As before, the middle letter, which is now the final H, 
is first placed at the end (HVYH), It is then placed after the initial 
letter {HHVY}. 

The H in the initial permutation in this triad (HVHY) is then 
placed at the end, leaving the V at the beginning (VHYH). Again, the 
middle letter, the Y, is first placed at the end ( VHHY), and then after 
the first letter (VYHH). 

The V is then placed at the end, leaving the final H in the begin- 
ning (HYHV) r The middle H is then moved to the end (HYVH), and 
then to the second position (HHYV). 

According to most authorities, this is the order of permutations 
of the Tetragrammaton paralleling the months of the year. 11 There 
are certain verses that also pertain to these, where the Letters of the 
permutations appear as either the initial or final Letters of the 
words. 12 



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20 L 



Also associated with these are the Twelve Houses, which are the 
twelve angular divisions of the sky. See Table 45 on page 199. The 
positioning of the constellations and planets in these determine their 
astrological influenced This division is also used in western 
astrology. 




Figured, Circle of permutations, houses, tribes, months, and signs im.- 
t'oniinR fo Ruovoii 5ti}. 



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:o: 



SEFER YETZIRAH 



■ if*wn i}^ D'cpn wee^ nyiK n w 
spiT^arn^-ion ^^ ^nns wr 

: ^ n ■? v^t* n; tcirn *h " 

: cr-%1 W>* POP! .13DH HHV1 nVH 

■" t T ~ T T — T T 

:nmi n:n ^H "^1 tfHiT WK 

no? n«n;i w n^'S •.nttn vrrn 
t r*-n ™j ww -nag .ry^ri >nvn 



Tun I'^inupiw:: V*N 
, pfl*T ^er pr :rrvtf JVC 
p;i f-s» r* ; rtfj TIED 
'pin ^Hcr p» : t„i ^}( 
'p-rr nr=:n ; — ■ ^ 5tf 

KTifs* ;w :.-n;;|lETt 

■Ti re it : n*) P30 
rrr *?itcp nf : "in G2CP 



Figure 49. Permutations of YHVH and EHYH according to Or 
HaLevanuh, p. 86. Eiut on J Adar are inien hunted an ordiax jo the nlder 
Kabba fists. Aho induded are the wrsexfrvm which the permutations are 
derived, the Seprot, and organs of Partzufim, 



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5:2 



Chapter ftv? 203 

,'p '3 'S /» 'd J n /: '1 H ;i jniorn!) mpjr GMTO 
Sua ,|TO3Sk ^Siaa tpj? n*iw pio* ;p 'x 'p 
nrnto Sua jvjuy jvmta Suj main jim-rra 
nrnra /ran Sua jron ram S121 ,jrnrm 
Sua jron nu-rya Sua ,nwin jrom Sua 
JTJ1B3T Sua jrnrm nuiya Sua jvam nu-n/a 
jrnrm ji*iidy Sua nu-^a jtou* Sui jvnri 
:dSij? niSua p jm ny 'iy iy pSm parrim 



7Ww Eiememah 

HYZ ChTY LNS OTzQ frsy m<j *on rcv 1 
77rei r foundation is the twelve diagonal boundaries: 
The east upper boundary 
The east northern boundary 
The east lower boundary 

The south upper boundary 
The south eastern boundary 
The south lower boundary 
The west upper boundary 
The west southern boundary 
The west iower boundary 

The north upper boundary 
The north western boundary 
The north lower boundary 
They extend continually until eternity of eternities 
And it is they that are the boundaries of the Universe, 



The twelve Elemental are said to relate to the twelve diagonal 
boundaries. See Table 46 on page 204. These correspond to the 
twelve edges of a cube. When a person uses ihese letters in any medi- 
tation, he must also concentrate on the appropriate di red ion. 

The ordering here begins on the east, and then goes through the 
four primary directions: east, south, west, north, This corresponds to 
the teaching, "Whenever you turn, turn toward the right. " M 

The ordering of directions is also the same as that of the four 
camps in the desert, 1 s The twelve diagonal boundaries thus corre- 
spond to the twelve tribes. It is for this reason that our (Gra) version 
gives three boundaries for each of the four sides. These correspond 
to the three tribes in each of the four camps.'* 

In each of these four directions, one first takes the upward 
boundary, then the right boundary, and then the lower boundary. In 



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204 



SEFER YETZIRAH 



Table 4ft. Two versions 


of the diagonal boundaries 




Letter 


Gra, 

Long Version 


Short Version Permutation 


Tribe 


i 

T 


east upper 
east north 
east lower 


east north 
east south 
east upper 


YHVH 
YHHV 
YVHH 


Judah 

Issachar 

Zebuluo 


n 

> 


south upper 
south east 
south lower 


east Lower 
north upper 
north lower 


HVHY 
HVYH 
HHVY 


Reuben 
Simeon 
Cad 


S 

J 




west upper 
west south 
west lower 


west south 
west nonh 
wesl upper 


VHYH 
VHHY 

VYHH 


Joseph 

Levi 

Benjamin 


? 
i 

P 


north upper 
north west 
north lower 


west lower 
south upper 
south lower 


HYHV 
HYVH 
HHYV 


Dan 

Asher 

Naftaii 








Figure 50. The fetter Bet formed by the path of twin % the btwndtirit's. 



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:os 



■ \ 



^7\ 

t 



Cira 



Shori Version 



Figure 51. The position of the Elemental* according Jo both main 
v 'erjtii ttt x . 

this manner, one describes the letter Bet (3) on each side. This corre- 
sponds to the teaching that the world was created with a Bet, this 
being the first letter of the TorahJ 7 See figure 50. 

A number of other versions give the twelve boundaries like they 
are here J* Other versions, however, use a different system. They give 
all the eastern boundaries first, then the two remaining northern 
ones, then all the western boundaries, and finally, the two remaining 
southern edges,'* See figure 51 . 

The Bahir relates these twelve diagonals to the Tree of Life. 20 
There is a one-to-one relationship between the diagonal boundaries 
and the diagonal Lines in the Tree of Life diagram. 

These twelve boundaries also correspond to the twelve permuta- 
tions of the Tetragrammaton, The permutations beginning with Y 
corresponding to the east; those beginning with the first H T to the 
south: the V. to the west, and the final H T to the north. 31 



They extend to eternity of eternities 

The term, "eternity of eternities ™ which in Hebrew is Adey Ad y 
has already been discussed (1:5) as denoting a realm beyond space 
and time. The use of the term here would imply that the diagonal 
boundaries actually extend beyond the realm of space and time. 

Earlier, when the Sefer Yetzirah (4:4) spoke of the six primary 
directions, it did not call them boundaries. The reason why they are 
called "boundaries'* (gevulim) here is because they are used in 



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206 SEFER YETZIRAH 

method of meditating on the "boundaries'' of space. The initiate 
meditates on the four letters Bet which sea] the universe on four 
sides, setting the limits of thought.- He also meditates on the twelve 
permutations of the Tetragrammalon, which correspond lo the 
twelve diagonals. In this manner, he can reach the level where they 
extend to "eternity of eternitiest™ beyond the realm of space and 
time. 

In discussing the twelve diagonals* the Bahir says, "On the inside 
of them is the Tree."^ This is the Tree of Life, the array of the Ten 
Sell rot, connected by the 22 letters. The Tree is not inside the twelve 
boundaries from an earthly point of view, since it is external to the 
physical universe. It is only inside these boundaries when viewed 
from the point at infinity, that has been discussed earlier (1:7). It is 
at this point that all the boundaries are unified. 

When a person meditates on the infinity of the diagonal bound- 
aries, he is also able to move along the diagonal paths in the Tree of 
Life, This is important, since it is much easier to ascend along the 
diagonals than along the vertical paths. 



Boundaries of the Universe 

These boundaries parallel the boundaries of the twelve tribes 
mentioned in Ezekiel 48. Each of these diagonal boundaries relates 
to one of the twelve tribes. 

According to the Talmud, these boundaries correspond to the 
twelve pillars upon which the universe rests.^ This is based on the 
verse, "He stood up the boundaries of the nations, according to the 
number of the children of Israel" (Deuteronomy 32:8), The Talmud 
also relates these to the "arms of the uni verse," 

Instead of "boundaries of the Universe," the Short Version 
reads, "arms of the Universe." 25 The obvious allusion is to the verse 
(Deuteronomy 33.26-27): 

There is none like the God of Jeshurun 
The Rider of the heavens is your Helper 
His pride is in the skies (shekhakim). 

A dwelling is the God of eternity 

And below are the Arms of the Universe 

He drives the enemy from before you 

And He said, -Destroy!" 
This verse occurs after the blessing of the tribes, where Moses 
blesses the entire nation of Israel. 3 * Although the verse is speaking of 



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Chapter Five 207 

God helping the Israelites in a mundane sense, it also has mystical 
overtones. 

Moses begins by calling God, "the Rider of the heavens." The word 
"rider," rokkev (aam), is closely related to markava (roono), the mystical 
"chariot" that is the essence of the mystical experience. The concept of 
"riding" involves traveling and leaving one's natural place." When 
Moses says that God "rides" the heavens, it means that He leaves His 
natural state where He is absolutely unknowable and inconceivable* and 
allows Himself to be visualized in a mystical vision. 

As the verse continues, this takes place through the skies known as 
Shekhakim. This term always refers to the two Sefirot, Netzach and 
Hod, which ane the Sefirot involved in piophecy and inspiration. 3 * 

It then says, *A dwelling {me'onah) is the God of eternity." As 
discussed earlier (1:5), the word ma on {and me'onah) indicate a level 
above space and lime, the "place of the universe.*^* 

The word for "eternal" here is Kedem, which usually indicates 
Keter,* The Hebrew word for Crown, Keter (ttd) ateu comes from the 
toot Kmar (irp), meaning to "surround"* 1 It is through the auribute of 
Keter or Kedem (eternity) that God encompasses all space and time. 

It is below this that there exist the "Arms, of the Universe," These 
are the infinities involving the twelve diagonal boundaries. 

On the highest level, we conceive of God as being totally 
divorced from all space and time. This conception involves a stale 
of consciousness that pertains neither to perception nor to 
non perception. On a lower level, we see Him as the one who defines 
space and time, as the "Place of the Universe." This involves a state 
of consciousness perceiving Nothingness. On a still lower level we 
see God as being beyond the boundaries of the universe. 

Thus, if a person wishes to experience God, he must begin at the 
lower level and work his way upward. He therefore begins with the 
"arms of the Universe,** contemplating the infinity of space in the 
twelve diagonal boundaries. Only after this can he reach the level of 
"a Dwelling is the God of eternity," where he conceives God as the 
"Place of the Universe.™ Finally^ however, he must attain a concep- 
tion of God as being totally divorced from space and time. He then 
sees Him as the "Rider of the heavens," who merely uses all depic- 
tions as a means through which He can be conceptualized- 

A very important clement in attaining the mystical experience is 
the negation of the self. When a person sees himself as nothing, then 
his self becomes transparent to the Divine. Commenting on the verse* 
"from under the Arms of the Universe," the Talmud states that a per- 
son must "make himself like he does not exist T " j: Through contem- 
plating the infinities of the universe, one can nullify the ego- 



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20B SEFER YETZIRAH 

In another very significant teaching, the Talmud states that, 
"The spirit {ruach) depends on the storm wind {sa'arah) . . L and the 
storm wind hangs from the arms of God^ 3j This is also based on the 
verse. "From under the Arms of the Universe." The storm wind 
{sa'arah), however, was the first manifest! on of Ezckiel's vision, as 
he says, "I Looked, and behold, a storm wind coming out of the north" 
(Ezekiel l;4). H The storm u ind relates to the stormy state of con- 
sciousness that precedes the true mystical experience, which is called 
"Spirir (Ruachl 

The Talmud states that the state oi Sa'arah, which is the gateway 
to the mystical experience, depends on the Arms of the Univese. One 
attains this state when one meditates on the infinities of the diagonal 
boundaries and the permutations of the Tetragrammaton associated 
with them. 

In the text here h we see that the ordering of the twelve diagonal 
boundaries begins with the east and ends with the north. Since the 
last direction upon which one meditates is the north, Ezekiel saw the 
"storm wind coming from the north" 

The slate of "storm wind" as well as the "great cloud, and flash- 
ing fire" seen by Ezekiel are the forces of the evil Husks {Ktipah), 
which must be breached before one can enter into the mysteries, JS 
The passage in Deuteronomy therefore concludes, "He drives the 
enemy from before you," Since after contemplating the "Arms of the 
Universe," one encounters the enemy — the Kiipoh — Moses had to 
promise that God would drive this force away and allow one to enter 
unharmed. » 

En the Long Version, the reading here in Sefer Yetzirah is 
"Heights of the Universe," Some com me manes state that these 
^H eights" are the "Arms of the Universe "^ 

The term, "Heights of the Universe," occurs three limes in scrip- 
ture. In Jacob's blessing to Joseph, he grants him, **the desire of the 
Heights of the Universe" (Genesis 49:26). Moses likewise blessed the 
tribe of Joseph with, "the treasure of the Heights of the Universe" 
(Deuteronomy 33:15), w 

The Zohar states that these Heights are related to the feminine 
principle in creation, especially to the Sefirah of Malkhut." It is 
through meditation on the twelve infinite lines of the universe that 
one can enter into Malkhut and begin the climb up the Tree of 
Life, 

The twelve diagonal boundaries are therefore like transmission 
lines, through which creative energy flows into the universe from the 
twelve diagonal paths in the Tree of Life, As such, these infinities are 
the interface between the physical and the transcendental. 



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5:3 



Chapter f-ive Hft 

;v r j 'S /* 'd H n ,'t i 'n jnomfl ttifv o»w 
p»nm fSpr j*n* p^ W^ P 10 * /? '* 'V 
o*tnn top ow oSt^j nSro top dw ow t*i 
:rrapji -dt pm cranio tov dw mm 



Twelve Eiementals 

HVZ ChTY LAT5 QTzQ (p*V tab tn m/ 
Their foundation is [that} 
He engraved them, carved them, permuted them. 

weighed them, and transformed them, 
And with them He formed 

twelve constellations in the Universe 

twelve months in the Year 

and twelve directors in the Soul, 
male and female. 



5:4 



Ertnttn inr rrbo cSiya m^ta top ow 



Twelve constellations in the Universe: 
Aries (T'teh. the Ram) 
Taurus (Shot, the Bull) 
Gemini (Teumim, the Twins) 

Cancer (Sartan, the Crab) 
Leo (Art the Lion) 
Virgo (Betulah, the Virgin) 
Libra (Maznayim, the Scales) 
Scorpio (Akrav, the Scorpion) 
Sagittarius (Kesheu the Archer) 
Capricorn (Gedi t the Kid) 
Aquarius (Deli the Water Drawer) 
Pisces (Dagin. the Fish). 



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5:5 



Chapter five 

nan jto t»k jd*j tom a*p-m ivy o*jw 

:TI« E33W JT3M 1*?M J1OT 'TtfJI ^lb« 3K 



21] 



Twelve months in the year 
Nissan, lyar, Sivan, 
TarrtuZi Av v EiuU 

Tishrei, Cheshwn. Kisiev, 

Tevet, Shevat, Adar. 



The references to the zodiac are shown in Table 47 on page 2 10 . 
Figure 52 shows the zodiac as it appeared in the 1720 edition of 
Tzurat HaAretz. 




Figure 52. The zodiav ijrom Tzurat HaAret/, p. 59u}. 



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212 SEFER YETZ1RAH 



5:6 



on* >nx? mpai ~ox pan otphjo nvj? ow 
ppnp 133 j*pi ma JirSa *jip o^n >jip 
:bma nap 



Twelve directors in ike soul 

male and female ; 
7V rwp AflHtft, rt* two feet, 

the two kidneys t 

the gall bladder, the intestines, 

the liver the korkeban, 

the kivah t the spleen. 



The intestines 

In Hebrew, the word here is Dakkin. This usually denote* the 
small intestine, but it can also include the large intestine or colon. 

In other versions, instead of Dakkin, the Sefer Yetzirah uses the 
term Massas or Hemsess, Ordinarily in Hebraic literature, this does 
not denote a human organ. The term usually refers to the Omasum 
or manypLies T the third stomach in ruminating (cud-chewing) animal* 
such as cattle. 40 See figure 53 on page 213. This organ is also called 
the psalterium, since its longitudinal folds are arranged like the Leaves 
in a book r 

According to a number of commentaries, the Massas denotes the 
stomach in man. +] In a number of places, the midrash implies that 
the function of the Afassas is to "grind" food.* 2 

According to the substitution in the Gra Version here, it would 
appear that the analogue of the Massas in man is the small intestine, 
This is also supported by a number of authorities. 41 This would be 
in agreement with the Kabbalists, since according to them, the stom- 
ach is the korkeban. 



The Korkeban 

The term Korkeban is most often used to denote the gizzard in 
fowl. 44 In the Talmud and Midrash, however, this term is occasion- 
ally if rarely used to denote a human organ, usually identified with 
the "grinding of food." 45 



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Chapter Five 



:o 



Ktrci 
Rumen 
1st stomach 




Manias 
Omasum 
3rd stomach 



Bti HaKotoi 
Reticulum 
2i\& stomach 



Kna 

^bomasum 
4th Stomach 



Figure 53, The four stomachs iti u rumirmtit, 

The Zohar clearly identifies the Korkeban as the stomach, and 
this opinion is shared almost universally by all later KabbaJists^ 

Other commentaries idemify the Korkeban with various different 
internal organs. Some say that it is the esophagus/ 7 Others say that 
it is the small intestine." Still another opinion has that it is the 
colon,** Some even say that it is the appendix. 50 



The Kivah 

The Kivah is also an organ usually associated with animals. In 
ruminants, it is the fourth stomach, known as the maw orabomasum. 
In calves, it is also known as the rennet bag, since it contains the 



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2W SEFER YETZIRAH 

rennet making glands. 11 According to some commentaries, the Kiva 
is the stomach." Others identify it with the intestine. 31 Another opin- 
ion has that it is the colon, 54 

In animals, the Kiva was part of the offering given to priests, 
as the Torah states, "They shall give to the priest the shoulder, 
the two cheeks, and the Kiva" (Deuteronomy 1S:3). Maimonides 
states thai the reason for this is because the Kivah is the first 
among the digestive organs, and this opinion is echoed by the 
Kabbalists." According to this, the analogue in man would be the 
esophagus. 

The Talmud and Zohar, however, apparently teach that the main 
function of the Ivah in man is to induce sleep. w This is also reflected 
in Sefer Yetzirah (5:9). This would indicate an organ of glandular 
nature, possibly the pancreas. Significantly, an early Midrash attri- 
butes to the Kiva, a "sleep of sweet ness." ST 

One reason why the Kiva might be associated with sleep is 
because in animals it is (he organ that digests milk. The human ana- 
logue may also be associated with milk, and milk is known to induce 
sleeps The Talmud also states thai in general, eating brings on 
sleep." 

It is also possible that the Korkeban and Kiva are not human 
organs at alL This would mean that use is made of them only when 
the Sefer Yetzirah is used with relation to animals and birds. By mak- 
ing use of these organs, one may create an animal or bind rather than 
a human. This might have been the technique that the Talmudic 
sages used to create a prime calf. 



5:7 



obipa nSts Dm -iyi no rrr jinyi th3 iS 

irrapji -is? PS33 pa* ban ruwa p*Ji 
ttd h ippi -nmrn 'i jiin -['Sort 
njM -!*xi nb^D *w om nan rrta nr [diyi 
impji -qt vwj ji»jo* w*Srai 
ma nr fB-nn -ins -h i»pi fiSm J t mt i*Son 
Sxatr Sin ruwa poi ubnyi D*awn am tyi 

:7l3f?J1 Tit tf&tt 



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Chapter Five 2l5 



He made the letter Heh (r\) king over speech 

and He bound a crown to it 

And He combined one with another 
And with them He formed 

Aries in the Universe 

Nissan in the Year 

And the right foot in the Soul 
mate and female. 

He made the letter Vav fi) king over thought 

And He bound a crown to it 

And He combined one with another 
And with them He formed 

Taurus in the Universe 

lyar in the Year 

And the right kidney in the Soul 
male and female 

He made the letter Zayin (\) king over motion 

And He bound a crown to it 

And He combined one with another 
And with them He formed 

Gemini in the Universe 

Sivan in the Year 

And the left foot in the Soul 
male and female. 



5:8 



Tppi rptm 'n rm yhnn 

oSiya pre una tn nn m jstti -itd ib 

:rafw -or vuja pa* ti rwzi iiom 
[B-nn -ma h -rcrpi njpmfia 'a jiw 'firm 
k*Sdi rtiPD 3«t aVipa m« oro tyi rr?a m 
-pban :n3pn -or psw j^Skw 
"fan rr?a tit jdtsm ins lb ivpi nppna '* ma 
fr&w Sxatr -h njpa ^ki o^tjtj nbina ma 
trapji -is? 



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216 SEFER VETZIRAH 

He made the letter Chet (n) king over sight 
And He bound a crown to it 
And He combined one with another 

And with them He formed 
Cancer in the Universe 
Tamuz in the Year 
And the right hand in the Sou! 
male and female. 

He made the letter Tet fa) king over hearing 
And He bound a crown to it 
And He combined one with another 

And with them He formed 
Leo in the Universe 
Av in the Year 

And the left kidney in the Soul 
male and female 

He made the letter Yud (*) king over action 
And He bound a crown to it 
And He combined one with another 

And with them He formed 
Virgo in the Universe 
Elul in the Year 
And the feft hand in the Soul 
mate and female. 



5:9 



=napii nat MJ3 mni mm ntwn 

]*pr\ niM jwmi oSipa Tipy om -uri nn ht 

nix i>San :njpji -or PSJ3 

nwp ona -m nn rr? jsiyi tjto iS TOpi m*m 'D 

:T13pj1 -IDT VM3 H3pi MP2 l^DDl 0^2 



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Chapter five 117 



He made the letter Lamed C*) king over coition 

And He bound a crown to it 

And He combined one with another 
And with them He formed 

Libra in the Universe 

Tishrei in the Year 

And the gall bladder in the soul 
male and female, 

He made the letter Nun fa) king over smell 

And He bound a crown to it 

And He combined one with another 
And with them He formed 

Scorpio in the Universe 

Cheshvan in the Year 

And the intestine in the Soul 
male and female. 

He made the letter Samekh (o) king over sleep. 

And He bound a crown to it 

And He combined one with another 
And with them He formed 

Sagittarius in the Universe 

Kislev in the Year 

And the Kivah in the Soul 
male and female. 



5:10 



-rerpi unj y nw -pSan 

mapji -qt tf djg -mi 7\zv2 mm 
finyi ins iS TOpi nuihi 'y jiik -[^orr 
ppnpi ruipa earn dVisd 'hi am non no nt 
jtw* -|'San \7\2py\ isr wm 
a>n ora iyi nrj m [DTtfi ijid lb "itt?pi pirns H p 
jnpv .napji "Di rsn bwi rwj hini nb^a 
tnnrtSfl j*ed p^y nam |*a3 pro rrjnp paa 



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21S SEFER YETZIKAH 

He made the letter Eyin (y) king over anger 

And He bound a crown to it 

And He combined one with another 
And with them He formed 

Capricorn in the Universe 

Tevet in the Year 

And the fiver in the Soul 
male and female. 

He made the letter Tzdi {*) king over taste 
And He bound a crown to it 
and He combined one with another 

And with them He formed 
Aquarius in the Universe 
Shevat in the Year 
And the Korkeban in the Soui 
mate and female 

He made the tetter Kuffp) king over laughter 

And He bound a crown to it 

And He combined one with another 
And with them He formed 

Pisces in the Universe 

Adar in the Year 

And the spleen in the Soul 
male and female. 

He made them like a trough 
He arranged them like a wall 
He set them up like a battle. 



There are several variant readings found in the different versions and 
Commentaries. The major ones are given in Table 48 on page 2 1 9. 

In this version, the Kivah is associated with sleep, the liver with 
anger, and the spleen with laughter. The same association is found 
in the Talmud. 60 

Here we see that the signs of the zodiac are associated with the 
twelve Hebrew Lunar months, rather than with the position of the 
Sun, as in Western astrology. The assignment here approximates that 
of Western astrology, but is more accurate from a Kabbalistc 
viewpoint. 

If one wishes to attain a deep understanding of the significance 
of the astrological signs, one must contemplate the patterns of stars 
that form each one. As one gazes at these stellar arrays, not only does 



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Chapter Five 



219 



Table 48, Various versions of the meaning of (he signs. 






Gra 


Short' 


Long 1 


Saadia J 


Ramak 4 


Nissan 
Aries 


speech 
R, foot 


[iiBhtj 
R. hand 


speech 
liver 


sight 
liver 


sight 
R, hand 


y [yar 
Taurus 


thought 
R, kidney 


[hearing] 
L, hand 


thought 
gall 


hearing 
gall 


hearing 
L. hand 


SLvan 
Gemini 


motion 
L. fool 


(smell] 
R. fool 


motion 
spleen 


smell 
spleen 


speech 
R. foot 


Tamuz 
Cancer 


sight 
R. hand 


[speech] 
Lfoot 


sight 
rnassas 


speech 
mams 


taste 
L, fool 


Av 
° Leo 


hearing 
L, kidney 


[taste] 
R. kidney 


hearing 
R T kidney 


taste 

R, kidney 


anger 
R, kidney 


Elul 
Virgo 


action 
L. hand 


[coition] 
L. kidney 


action 
L. kidney 


action 
L. kidney 


motion 
L. kidney 


, Tishrei 
Libra 


coition 
Ball 


[action] 
liver 


coition 
korkeban 


coition 
koikeban 


laughter 
liver 


ChesJivan 
Scorpio 


smell 
intestine 


[motion] 
spleen 


smell 
kivah 


motion 
kivah 


thought 
spleen 


Kislev 
o * ■ 
Sagittarius 


sleep 
kivah 


(anger} 
Ball 


sleep 
Rrhand 


anger 
R. hand 


coition 
gall 


Tcvet 
Capricorn 


anger 
liver 


[laughter] 


anger 
L> hand 


laughter 
L. hand 


sleep 
ma&£a& 


Shevai 
Aquarius 


taste 
korkeban 


[thought] 
kivah 


taste 
R. foot 


thought 
R. foot 


smell 
kivah 


Adar 
p Pisces 


laughter 
spleen 


[sleep] 
korkeban 


laughter 
L. foot 


sleep 
L. foot 


action 
korkeban 



The iraiii ire net listed explicitly in the Short Version, but are pven by the 

Raavad. This arderint, ho**v*r, it fcW in 5-| r Po*t**h tu* a similar ordering. 

but he interchanges liver and spleen, sight and hearing, coition and taste. Kuzari 

4:25 ilso um thic ordering, but instead of ~ineer T laughter, thought™ he has. 

"thought, inger, laughter" 

This ordering ii mho used by Ramak in Pardn Rimonim 2\i\b, 

Saadia 8:3, Aho see 1 :3, 6-5-1 i; Saadia B, here. This same ordering » found in the 

Long Version in the recap, 5:2 I H indicating that it was added from Saadia, This 

ordering was also used by Chakamoni 73a. Rabbi Eliezar Rokeach I Ob, and by 

Rabbi YosefTzayach in Sheirit taxr/lOa, I la, and Tzaror HaCkum J4b- 

Shiur Kvmah 1 5 (Adam), pp. 29m h fc 



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SEFER VETZIRAH 



Tabic 4**. Signs and planets of the zodiac. 



Zodiac 


Influences 


Planetary Influences 


Remainder 


Sign 


Remainder Planet 



1 

2 


Cancer 
Leo 

Virgo 


Mercury 

1 Moon 

2 Saturn 


3 
4 

5 


Aries 

Taurus 

Gemini 


3 Jupiter 

4 Mars 

5 Sun 


6 

7 

s 


Libra 

Scorpio 

Sagittarius 


6 Venus 


9 
JO 
11 


Capricorn 

Aquarius 

Pisces 





the picture of the sign emerge* but one also gains insight into its inner 
essence. 

In general, it was forbidden to actually draw pictures of the fig* 
ures represented by the astrological signs.* L In ancient times, the mak- 
ing of such pictures actually led to the worship of these signs as 
gods, 63 To draw the stars alone, or even to connect them with lines 
so as to make their patterns recognizable, however, is permitted," 

For the purpose of contemplation, the pictures and diagrams 
found in most astrological texts are next to useless. Instead, we must 
turn to the writings of the ancients. One of the best descriptions of 
the constellations, dating from the second century, is found in 
Ptolemy's Almagest, and this is quoted in ancient Hebrew manu- 
scripts. H I have used Ptolemy's tables in constructing the diagrams 
of the constellations, 



He made them like a (rough 

The constellations are said to be like a trough because they chan- 
nel spiritual sustenance down to the physical world. The months are 
like a wall. The parts of the body are involved in a constant state of 
wan as discussed later (6:3},** 

Besides his time of birth, a person' s name also plays an impor- 
tant role in determining astrological signs. In order to determine this 



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Chapter Fa* 221 

influence, one must write the person's name and the name of his 
mother in Hebrew characters. The letters must then be added up, so 
as to determine the numerical value of both names J* 

To determine the sign of the zodiac, one must cast off twelves, 
and take the remainder. That is, one must divide the above sum by 
twelve, and determine the remainder. This is used to determine the 
sign of the zodiac. 67 

To determine the planetary influence, one must cast off sevens. 
Like before, one must divide by seven, and retain only the remainder. 
This is used to determine the appropriate planet. Note that in the 
table, the order of the planets is that of Saturday night, Jn Hebrew 
reckoning, this is the beginning of the first day of the week, and 
hence, the first period of creation. 

This method can more easily be understood if we take an exam- 
ple. Assume that a person's name is Abraham (dttdn) and his 
mother's name is Sarah {^vtf). Making use of the numerical value for 
each letter, we see that Abraham has a numerical value of 243, while 
that for Sarah is 505. Adding the two together, the final sum is 
753, 

To determine the sign of the zodiac, we must divide by twelve, 
yielding 62, with a remainder of nine. Consulting Table 49 on page 
220, we find that the appropriate sign is Capricorn. 

Similarly, to determine the planet, we divide 753 by seven. The 
quotient is 107, with a remainder of four. We thus find that Mars 
will exert a strong influence on a person named Abraham, who is the 
son of Sarah. 

Also important are the 28 "camps** of the Divine Presence, corre- 
sponding to the 28 days of the lunar month." The length of the lunar 
month is 29 days, 1 2 hours. 2643 seconds (29,53059 days).** This is 
the period during which the Moon goes through all of its phases. 

Besides this, there is also the sidereal month, the time during 
which the Moon passes through all twelve signs of the zodiac, This 
period is 27 days, 6 hours, 780 seconds {27.25902 days). This is the 
period during which the Moon revolves around the earth, and returns 
to its original position with regard to a fixed star. 

The lunar month is longer than the sidereal month. The reason 
for this is because, in order to complete a lunar month, the Moon 
must not only pass through the twelve signs of the zodiac, but it must 
also occupy its previous position in relation to the Sun. During this 
month, however, the Sun itself has advanced through the zodiac. The 
lunar month is therefore longer than the sidereal month by a factor 
of one twelfth. The Moon therefore passes through each of the twelve 
signs of the zodiac in 2 days, 6 hours, 1865 seconds (2,271585 
days). 



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SEFER VETZIRAH 



Table 50. The 2K thncs of EcclesiaMes (3:2-K>. 



A time 
A time 
A time 
A time 
A time 
A time 
A time 
A time 
A time 
A time 
A time 
A time 
A time 
A time 



to be born 

to plant 

to kill 

to wreck 

to weep 

of mourning 

to throw stones 

to embrace 

to seek 

to safeguard 

to tear 

to be still 

to love 

of war 



and a 
and a 
and a 
and a 
and a 
and a 
and a 
and a 
and a 
and a 
and a 
and a 
and a 
and a 



time 
time 
time 
time 
time 
time 
time 
time 
time 
time 
time 
time 
time 
1 1 mo 



to die. 

to uproot, 

to heal. 

to build. 

to Laugh. 

of dancing. 

to hoard stones. 

to shun, 

to Iosch 

to discard. 

to sou. 

to speak. 

to hate. 

of peace. 



Tahle 51. The 2H time* and their associated qualities. 



I. 

3. 


A time to be born (seed) 
A time to plant (seed) 


2. 
4. 


a time to die (desolation) 
a time to uproot 
(desolation) 


5. 

7, 


A time to kill (death) 
A time to wreck (death) 


6. 
S. 


a time to heal (Life) 
a time to build (life) 


9. 
11. 


A time to throw stones 
(poverty) 

A time to lose (poverty) 


10. 
12 


a time to hoard stones 

(wealth) 

a time to seek (wealth) 


13. 

15, 


A lime to embrace (grace) 
A time to safeguard (grace) 


14 
16 


a time to shun (ugliness) 
a time to discard 
(ugliness) 


17, 
19, 


A time to be still (wisdom) 
A time to sew (wisdom) 


IS. 
20. 


a time to speak 
(fooLishness) 
a time to tear 
(foolishness) 


21. 
23. 


A lime of war (war) 
A time to hale (war) 


22, 
24. 


a time of peace (peace) 
a time to love (peace) 


25. 
27 r 


A lime of mourning 
(subjugation) 

A time to weep (subjugation) 


26. 
28. 


a time of dancing 
(dominance) 
a time to laugh 
(dominance) 



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Chapter five 223 

Besides the 28 lunar days* the sidereal month can also be divided 
into 28 equal parts. Each one of these parts is one of the Moon's 
"camps, ** The moon passes through each of its camps in 23 hours, 
1310 seconds. 

The 28 camps parallel the 2S "times" mentioned in Ecclesias- 
tes, Tfl See Tables 50 and 51 on page 222. These are related lo the 
seven qualities corresponding to the seven Doubles, as discussed 
above (4:2 3). See Table 52 on page 224. 

The 28 camps are associated with the twelve signs of the zodiac 
through the 42 Letter Name, given above (4:14). See Table 53 on 
page 2 24 r This name is combined with the letters of the Tetragram- 
maton in the manner shown in figure 54 on page 22 5. This yields a 
total of 168 letters, or six for each of the 28 camps. 

The 1 68 letters can also be divided into twelve groups, each con- 
sisting of 14 letters. Each of these groups then corresponds to a spe- 
cific sign of the zodiac, as given in Table 54 on page 225. It is these 
Letters that are dominant as the Moon passes through each of the 
twelve signs. 

Also associated with each of the twelve signs is a permutation of 
the names YHVH and Adonoy (*jnw) r By meditating on these combi- 
nations, as well as the derivatives of the 42 Letter Name, one can 
gain knowledge of things that will happen in the designated times. 
See figure 55 on page 226. 

The 2B "times" of Ecclesiastes can be divided into two groups 
of I4 r One group consists of the good times, while the other consists 
of the evil times. The 14 good times are said to come from the 14 
letters of YHVH Elohenu YHVH; 

YHVH ELHYNU YHVH nrr v^tk m;r 

One then takes the letter, which in the alphabet comes after each 
of these 14. This yields the letters 71 

KUZU BMUKSZ KUZU TO tttttt TO 

The 14 evil times are said to originate from these 14 Letters. 
These 28 letters can therefore be used to transmit the appropriate 
concepts- 
There is another system that also provides insight into each hour 
of the day. As discussed earlier (2:5K when various letters are com- 
bined with the Tetragrammaton, five vowels are used. When one 
wishes to make such a combination relating to the hours of the day, 
however, one must add a sixth vowel, the Shva (:)." The array associ- 
ated with each letter of the Tetragrammaton then consists of 36 
elements. 



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SEFEft VETZIRAH 



Table 51 The 2S limes and the 14 tellers ollhc three names. 
VHVH tluhenu YHVH, 



Seed 
Life 

Wealth 

Grace 

Wisdom 

Peace 
Dominance 



s Y to be born 

i H to plant 

i V to heal 

n H to build 

« E to hoard stones 

S L to seek 

n H to embrace 

* Y to safeguard 
j N to be still 

t U to sew 

* Y of peace 
n H to love 

i V of dancing 

n H to laugh 



3 K to die 

1 U to uproot 
i Z to kill 

i V to wreck 

i B to throw stones 

a M to lose 

i U to shun 

2 K to discard 
p S to speak 

i Z to tear 

5 K of war 

) U to hate 

r Z of mourning 

i U to weep 



Table 53, The 2H camps 
combined with the letters 



of the divine presence fThe 42 letter name 
YHV). 



1, 


VAHVVB 


2, 


HV YG HV 


n 1 * n 


3' in w * 


3, 


vYhvvT 


4. 


HV Y TZ HV 


■n I o m 


ri 1 n ' * 


5, 


v K hv v R 


6. 


HV Y O HV 


nji « n 


vtip* 


7 ' 


v Sh hv y T 


8. 


HV Y N HV 


n 1 ■ m 


01 ttt > 


r 


v N hv y G 


10. 


HV Y D HV 


n t ' ut 


i-ni> 


M. 


y Y hv v Km 


12. 


HV Y Sh hv 


nvr 


D ' tT*> 


13. 


vBhvvT 


14. 


HV Y R HV 


rr "l ► n 


en:* 


15. 


yTzhv vTh 


16. 


HV Y G HV 


in J ' vr 


TV trv> 


I7 r 


vChhvyK 


IS. 


HV Y B HV 


in a * n 


P f nn' 


19. 


yThv yN 


20. 


hvyOhv 


n y * n 


J>m D> 


21. 


Y Y HV Y G 


22, 


HV Y L HV 


in S * n 


J > m* * 


23, 


Y P HV Y Z 


24, 


HV Y K HV 


n p * m 


t'n[t 


25. 


y Sh hv y K 


26, 


HV Y V HV 


rr i * in 


p*m v* 


27. 


Y TZ HV Y Y 


2S. 


hvyTh hv 


tn n * in 


' * Vl Y* 



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Chapter Five 



225 




Ft Kurt* 54. The 2K camps of the divine presence (Rtttnvtt i9h). 



Table 54. The 28 camps divided among (he 


12 anisic II at Kins. 




Aries 


V A hv y B hy y G hv y Y 


* * m 9 * m 3 * 


in K * 


Taurus 


hv ythhvyTZhvy Khv 


np'riy 


in n *m 


Gemini 


yRhvvEhvyShuvvT 


tt*n V 1 *t y ' 


in 1* 


Cancer 


hv y N hv y N hv v G hv 


m i * m J 


m]*n 


Leo 


Y D HV Y Y HV Y KH HV Y SH 


IF * m 3 *m ** 


ri T * 


Virgo 


hv y B hv y T hv y R hv 


m l *m t) * 


nMi 


Libra 


y Tz HV Y Th HV Y G HV y Ch 


n * rr l>m JV 


rr Y* 


Scorpio 


hv yK hv yBhvyThv 


rt t) * ri * 


in p * m 


Sagittarius 


Y N hv y O HV y Y hv y G 


l ' n * * in y 


♦ml* 


Capricorn 


HV y L HV y P Hv y Z HV 


n T * in fl > 


rr S mi 


Aquarius 


Y K hv y Sh hv y K hv y V 


1 nn p • in tf ' 


mp * 


Pisces 


hv y Tz hv y Y hv y Th hv 


n n * vi * * 


in s * m 



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SEFER VETZLRAH 



r^r i w vh frb 


fm '**?:& 7 u ';fr 
to 


1|T *13J ^3 '*WiV 

t>"i^ j"*:fc "W 


-*to AVi **sfn 


tfvz ft"i"r s'in 


1\td ,ff rw? fr"*« 


,M K>1 h n vi l H fr7 


^Vl '*P7J h Ul 73 


7f*w i w, p r**DJ' 
n M, :ii 7 fl, p; T '-:: 


r-trp 


aw 


c^JWa 


^Kl fc ffl ^ V6)* 


D"re s"frr b")T 


^*w : w :fr s*7Jj' 



Figure 55. The 28 tumps divided among the twelve eonstelhiiiom . 
include* permutations of YHVH and Adtty iFrom Rutnud, p, 20b h 



2l6Chalakim 
12 rmnules 



252 Chalakim 
14 minjLfs 




3% Chalakim 
21 miliums 



216 Chalakim 
12 minutes 



Figure 56. The Chalakim in tin hour when they perittitt if* nighi famrx* 



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Chapter Five 



227 







*tn 












IV 








nM 




nx 


TO 


»K 


»K 










T 


• 


T ■ T ■ 


to 


TO 










' T 




IK 


nx 


?** ^K 


™ 


TO 
- ^ 


^ 


!« 


!« 


?K 


'K 

- » 


!« 


n* 


™ 


l"« nw 


TO 


TO 


*K 


'« 


'« 


T « 


*K 


>K 


TO 


nK 




N^ 


N" 


>K 


*K 


*« 


: 


V K 


**t 


n« 


7W 


W TO 


TO 


TO 


>N 


^K 


T « 


;k 


;k 


*K 


Each Element - 6 






Each Element - 1 1 




Total - 216 






Total - 


396 












t*n 












INI 






n« 


n« 




TO 


TO 


IK 


}X 


IK 


IK 

■h - 


1K 




HK 


TIN 


^ ™ 


TO 


TO 


;« 


IK 


IK 


IK 


IN 


W 


HK 


n&< 


™ TO 


7TK 

- T 


to 


ik 


]K 


IK 


]« 


>K 

- 1 


ik 


HN 


TIN 


™ TO 


TO 


TO 


1« 


1« 


1« 


W 


IK 


w 


HK 


HN 


T 


tfn 


tfn 


IK 


IK 


^ 


i 




IK 


W 


riN 


TO TO 


TO 


to 


IK 


IK 


w 


)K 


IK 


w 


Each Element = 6 






Each Element =- 7 






Total -216 






Total- 


252 









Figure 57 r Alef combined with the letters of the Tetrogwmmaton 
through six vowels. 

Both in the Talmud and in Kabbalah, the normative division of 
the hour is into Chalakim r with 1QS0 Chalakim making an hour t 
Thus, there are 1 8 ChaJakim to a minute. 

The duration of each letter, expressed in Chalakim, is taken as 
being equal to its numerical value. Thus, Alef (n) is. one Cheiek, Yud 
{') is ten, Hen (n) is five, and Vav (i) is six. 

In the array, the Yud and Alef together add up to eleven. Since 
there are 36 elements in the array, its total numerical value is 36 x 
1 1, or 396. Proceeding in the same manner with each of the four 
squares, the values obtained are 396, 21 6, 252, and 216. The total of 
all these is 1 080. This is exactly the number of Chatakim in an hour. 
See figure 56 on page 226. Each of these combinations therefore per- 
tains to a precise period in the hour. See figure 57, 



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211 5EFER YETZIRAH 

There are, however, twelve permutations of the Tetragramma- 
lon. These can either pertain to the twelve hours of the day, or to the 
twelve hours of the night. 

When the Alef precedes the letters of the Name, as in figure 56, 
these permutations pertain to the twelve hours of the night. When 
the letters of the Name precede the Alef T they represent the twelve 
hours of the day. 



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CHAPTER SIX 



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Chapter Six Ml 



6:1 



ikfi vrm nujtf vhv orr fa* 

cro tt« om mast rwVp onn 

DrrnnSim m3K rre6tf ,nnVin moxai p« 

^dj npy o*wi onmwaYi 0*3313 nyapi 

otj ;ur nSijn o>3o«3 d*tjj -n-rS rrtn jToibtt 

SiSn *Sn3 pps robm rrjnp 1 pn -rery crjen 

:3^1 



These are the Three Mothers AMSh feat*). 
And from them emanated Three Fathers, 

and they are air t water, and fire ^ 

and from the Fathers, descendents. 
Three Fathers and their descendents. 

And seven planets and their hosts. 

And twelve diagonal boundaries 
A proof of this 

true witnesses in the Universe, Year, Sout 

and a rule of twelve 
and seven and three: 
He set them in the Teli t the Cycle* and the Heart. 



From them emanated three Fathers 

This is the same as 3:2, except that here the Fathers "emanate," 
while above, they were "born." 

From the Mothers, AMSh, emanated the concept of thesis, 
antithesis and synthesis as discussed earlier. These are the Fathers, 
represented by fire, water, and air. From this triad comes the three 
columns of the Sefirot, and from them, all the rest of creation. 



The Teli 

This is one of the most mysterious words in the Sefer Yetzirah. 
The term occurs neither in the Bible nor in the Talmud, and there is 
considerable discussion as to its meaning J 



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SEFEK VETZIRAH 



\ ^ \ 


A r i*» / 


/ 





Figure 58. The ctMixtelftiiions of Draco oiui Ursa Miliar fticcordiitfi 
to Ptotenwl. 



The only place where we find a similar word is in a single refer- 
ence ID a weapon, where Jacob [Old Esau, "Take your instruments, 
your Teti and your bow JH (Genesis 27:3). Some commentaries inter- 
pret the Teii here to be a kind of sword, and it is given Ihis name 
because it hangs {iaiah) from one's side, J Others say that it is a 
quiver, in which the arrows are piled (tela!),* 

The term, however, appears more suggestive of a kind of bola^ 
This is a line with a ball at the end, used to ensnare animals, Tt would 
be called a Teii because the ball hangs (tafah) from the line. This is 
also supported by the fact that the scripture clearly states that Esau 
was to trap Uzad\ an animaL 

According to many Kabba lists, the Teli mentioned here in Sefer 
Yetzirah is the imaginary axis around which the heavens rotate, 4 It 
is seen as an imaginary line from which the celestial sphere hangs, 



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Chapter Six 



233 




Figure 59. Draco, i Based on a 14 fh century Hcbrtth manuscript}. 

very much like a bola from its line. According to this, the word Teli 
{*>n) comes from the root Taiah (nSn), meaning **to hang.**' 

Many authorities identify the Teii with the "Pole Serpent" 
{Nachash Bare'ach), mentioned in the verse, "By His spirit, the heav- 
ens were calmed, His hand has pierced the Pole Serpent" (Job 
2 6: 1 3 K* It is also mentioned in the verse, "On that day, with His 
great, harsh sword", God will visii and overcome me Leviathan, the 
Pole Serpent, and the Leviathan, the Coiled Serpent, and He will kill 
the dragon of the sea" (Isaiah 27: 1). 

This Pole Serpent, which is identified with the Leviathan, may 
then be seen as an imaginary creature from which the earth hangs. 
Thus, in an ancient mystical Midrash, we find that the world "hangs 
from a fin of the Leviathan. * 7 

The Pole Serpent is often associated with the constellation of 
Draco, 1 This is not surprising, since Draco is very close to the North 
Pole, Indeed, around 4500 years ago, Thuban, a star in Draco's tail, 
was the pole star. 

There are, however, two imaginary poles in the sky. The first is 
the celestial pole, which is directly above the earth's north pole. The 
second is known as the ecliptic pole. This is the pole of the sphere of 
which the ecliptic is the equator. 



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234 SEFER YETZJRAH 




Figure 60. The Teli tts the obliquity between equator ami ecliptic. 

The ecliptic is the great circle of the celestial sphere traced by 
the plane of the earths orbit around the sun. If we view the sun and 
stars as revolving around the earth, we will notice that in the course 
of the year, at a given time each day, the sun will occupy a slightly 
different position in relation to the constellations and other stars. Jn 
this perspective, the ecliptic is the annual path of the sun moving 
from west to east through the heavens.' 

In describing the positions of the stars, the ancients made use of 
the ecliptic pole, rather than the celestial pole. In this system, we find 
that the constellation of Draco actually surrounds the ecliptic pole. 
It also has stars in the sections of all the signs of the zodiac, 14 It is 
therefore literally the Pole Serpent, since it is the serpent that sur- 
rounds the ecliptic pole. See figures 5S and 59 on pages 232 and 233. 

Since the Pole Serpent has stars in all the houses of the zodiac, 
it is also seen as supporting them all. 11 It is as if Draco was at the 
top of the celestial sphere, and all the other stars were hanging from 
it. As such, Draco is seen as the overseer and director of all the other 
stars, Draco is therefore associated with the Teli, which, as the Sefer 
Yetzirah states (6:3), is "over the Universe like a king on his throne." 
It is called the Teli because all the other constellations hang (taiah) 
from h\ 

In ancient times, the Teti, in the form of Draco, was worshipped 
as an idolatrous deity. 12 Rabbi Isaac of Acco also identifies it with 
the idol Baal, mentioned in the Bible J i 

Many philosophical commentaries on Sefer Yetzirah, as welt as 
astronomical texts, interpret the Teii as being the inclination between 
two celestial planes J* In modern astronomy, this is usually called the 
obliquity, and it usually denotes the inclination separating the eclip- 
tic and the celestial equator, which is the imaginary circle above the 
earth's equator, as shown in figure 60. In this sense, the Teii is also 



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Chapter Stx 



235 




O'Jffa «p» t>Cp *T1 ^T 0'17 ^C)P Dh") 

Figured!. The Teli wj // appears in CvtrtrrjcrtiHry ttf Rtihhi FMvztrr 
Rakt'tiih ofWormes, p. lib. 

often referred to as a dragon or fish. See figure 61. This is because it 
has the shape of a fish, wide in the center, and coming to a point at 
both ends,'* 

Hebrew astronomers also used the term Teli to denote the incli- 
nation of the orbit of a planet from the ecliptic, particularly in the 
case of the moon. 1 * 

There are two points where the orbit of a planet intersect the 
plane of the ecliptic. The point through which the planet passes from 
the south of the ecliptic plane to the north is called the ascending 
node, while the other point is known as the descending node. In 
medieval astronomy, the ascending node was often called (he 
"dragon's head," while the descending node was referred to as the 
"dragon's tail." With regard to the intersection points of the equator 
and the ecliptic, these are the two equi nones. See figure 62 on page 
236. The vernal (spring) equinox is the head, while the autumnal 
equinox is the tail of the dragon. 



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236 SEFER YETZ[RAH 




Nodes 



Figure 62. The Tcli as the im it nation of the orbit of a planet from the 
tiiiprk. 

The "dragon," whose head and tail form the two nodes, is then 
identified as the Teh, Most early Hebrew writers refer to it by its 
Arabic name, AlJaz Y har. [1 Juz'har is a Persian word* meaning "knot" 
or "node,* 1 

Rabbi Abraham Abulafia also identifies the Teli with the celes- 
tial "knots" {Kcsharim).^ He writes that the head of the Teli denotes 
merit, while its tail signifies liability." 

Especially important are the lunar nodes, since iL is only at these 
points that an eclipse, either of the sun or the moon, can occur. :n The 
Teli can then be seen as the imaginary dragon swallowing the sun or 
moon. 

Although the obliquity is often referred to as the Teli, it is ques- 
tionable if this is the Tcli mentioned here by the Sefer Yetzirah. 

There is also a tradition that there are two Telis or dragons, one 
male and the other female. These are identified as the two Levia- 
thans, and arc mentioned in the account of creation. "God created 
the great dragons" (Genesis 1:21). 21 According to the Talmud, the 
Pole Serpent mentioned by Isaiah is ihe male dragon, while the 
Coiled Serpent {\'whosh Akalkahn) is the female- Some Kabbaiists 
state that the constellation of Draco is the male Pole Serpent, while 
the inclination of the ecliptic is the female Coiled Serpent.-* The 
female therefore encompasses the male, this being the mystery of. "a 
female shall surround a male" {Jeremiah 3Il22>.- 4 

Other commentaries identify the Teli with the Milky Way, and 
say that (his is the Pole Serpent. :i According to this, the Teli would 
be the axis of the galaxy, rather than that of the celestial sphere. In 
the Book ofRaziei however, it appears that the Milky Way is called 
(he River Dinur, mentioned in Daniel, and not the Teli, 2 * 

Another important opinion is that of ihc practical Kabbalists 
They write that Teli is actually a place under the firmament of Vilon, 



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Chapter Six 



237 



and lhat it is inhabited by humanoid beings, which deport themselves 
in holiness and purity J ike angels. The divine mysteries are revealed 
to these beings, and they have the authority to reveal these things to 
mortal humans Methods are also given whereby these beings can be 
contacted.- 7 

While adhering to the view that the Teli is the segment between 
the ascending and descending nodes, Rabbi Judah HaLevi 
{1068-11 18) also writes that the Teli alludes to the spiritual world, 
and to hidden mysteries which cannot be grasped. ** Rabbi Abraham 
Abulafia similarly writes lhat the "knots" of the Teli are "knots** of 
love and mystical union. 59 

The nodes of the Teli are the points where two divergent orbits 
meet. The physical and spiritual worlds can also be looked upon as 




Figure 63, The zodiac, (from Maaseh Toviah. p. 4(kt). 



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238 SEFER VETZIRAH 

two divergent orbits. The Teli would then represent the nodes where 
the physical and spiritual meet. 

This picture is clarified through a Talmudic example. The Talmud 
presents a picture where, "the stormwind hangs (Wo h) between the 
two arms of God like an amulet, " w This "hanging" can be identified 
with the Teli. As discussed earlier, the "stormwind" [sa'arah) refers to 
the initiation into the prophetic or mystical experience^ 1 The two 
nodes of the Teli are the spiritual points from which this "amulet" 
hangs. The Talmud furthermore states that the "arms" from which it 
hangs are the "arms of the universe." As discussed earlier, the "arms 
of the universe" denotes the twelve diagonal boundaries {5:2). 

One of the most significant interpretations is thai of the Bahir 
The Bahir states; "What is the Teli? It is the likeness before the 
Blessed Holy One. It is thus written, 'His locks are hanging (taitalimy 
{Song of Songs 5:11).^ 

The link with this biblical verse is highly significant. In its 
entirety, the verse reads, "His head is a treasure of fine gold, His 
locks are hanging, black like a raven, w 

En both Talmud ic and Kabbah stic traditions, this verse has two 
interpretations. First, it relates to a vision of God, indicating that 
when He is visualized in battle, He is seen a young man with black 
hair" The Kabbaiists say that ihis is Zer Attpin (Small Face, 
Micropr050pus) + the personification of the six Sefirot from Chesed to 
Yesod.* 

The second interpretation relates this verse to the Torah, The 
Talmud states that the hanging (or piled) hair relates to the fact that 
every letter of the Torah contains Spiles and piles" {teli tela'im) of 
wisdom." Besides this, the hanging hairs are said to relate to the lines 
upon which the letters of the Torah are written. 56 

The Torah which is spoken of here is not the ordinary written 
Torah, but the primeval Torah T which was written "with black fire 
on white fire. nj7 According to many Kabbalists, this primeval Torah 
in itself is identified with Zer Anpin, 

In this picture, each letter of the Torah is seen as a hair in the 
beard of Zer Anpin. These are not seen as simple hairs, but as chan- 
nels, through which God's wisdom emanates from His "head." The 
"head" is the concealed wisdom of God, while the letters are its out- 
ward re vela t ion. J * The portion of God's wisdom that we can compre- 
hend bears the same relationship to His true wisdom that the hair 
does to the brain. The brain is the center of all thought, while the 
hair is essentially dead. There is a world of difference between the 
two, yet all that we can comprehend is the "hair.™ 

The verse says, "His head is a treasure of fine gold." This refers 
to the unknowable divine Intellect- Since all that we can comprehend 



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Chapter Si.x 239 

is a "hair,* 1 the verse continues, "His locks are hanging (piled), black 
like a raven.* 1 Even these hairs contain "piles and piles** {teli teta'im) 
of wisdom. Still , it is "black like a raven. - Even these "hairs** are 
black and incomprehensible. Each of these hairs corresponds to a 
"point" in the letters of the Torah. 3g Each letter contains "piles and 
piles" of wisdom. 

These tahaiim^ which mean " hangings" or "piles," thus refer to 
the divine wisdom that is revealed. According to the Midrash, how- 
ever, they do not refer to the letters themselves, but to the lines 
{sirtut) upon which they are written. When one writes a physical 
Torah, one must first draw lines upon which to write the letters. 
These lines are not actually drawn with ink. but are merely impressed 
into the parchment with a sharp instrument. These almost invisible 
lines represent the "hanging" of the hair, the link between the letter 
and its spiritual root. 

From each hair in the divine beard of Zer Artpirt, there hangs a 
universe. Each of these universes is also related to a letter in the 
Torah. 40 According to this, the Teli denotes the "hair" in the divine 
beard from which our universe "hangs.* 4 This is the axis around 
which the universe revolves. 

The Teli also relates to the meditation on a letter, En this medita- 
tion, one pictures the letters as written with black fire on white fire. 
One contemplates the letter, concentrating on the near invisible line 
upon which it is drawn. This line is seen as a hair in the divine beard, 
from which the universe hangs. 

The scripture calls the "hangings" of the divine beard Taltaiim. 
The Zohar relates this to the word Taipiou which, as the Talmud 
teaches, is the "hill («-//) to which all mouths (piot) turn." 41 This ~hiir 
is the mount upon which the Temple was built, which Jacob called 
the "gate of heaven" (Genesis 28:1 7) T « This Talpiot is the tangible 
link between the physical and the spiritual- According to the 
Kabbah sts, the same holds true of the Teli. 43 



The Cycle 

The Hebrew word for cycle here is Gatgal. In a number of places 
in the Talmud, this word is also used to denote the cycle of events 
in the world." Later {6:3). the Galga! is depicted as the king over 
time. This is because all time is defined by cyclic motion. The word 
Gatgal also means sphere or circle. In some places in the Talmud the 
word is used to denote the sphere of the zodiac. 4S 



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240 SEFER YETZIRAH 

The Sefer Yetiirah (2:4) earlier stated that the 22 letters had to 
be fixed in the Gatgat to produce the 231 Gates, The word Gaigai 
therefore also denotes the mystical array of the 22 letters. 

In this respect, the Teii denotes the almost invisible lines upon 
which the letters are written. The Gatgat is the circle in which they 
are drawn. 

The Sefer Yetzirah also associated the mystical experience with 
the whirlwind known as a Sufah ( 1 : 6 K It is significant that the 
prophet Isaiah associates such a whirlwind with the Gaigai, saying, 
^ Like a sphere {gaigai) before the whirlwind {sufahy (Isaiah 17:1 3), 
It is also associated with God's voice, as in the verse, "The voice of 
Your thunder was in the sphere {gaigaif (Psalms 77:19),** 

Most significantly, the Gatgat is also seen as being below the feet 
of the Cherubim, God thus told an angel "Come to the innards of 
the Gaigai, beneath the Cherub" (Ezekiel 10:2). This Cherub is 
explictlely identified with the Chayol seen in Ezekiel's initial vision, 
as he says, "And the Cherubim went up, this is the Chayah that 1 saw 
on the river Chebar" (Ezekiel 10: 15), Earlier {1:3), we have also dis- 
cussed how the Cherubim serve as the focus of the mystical experi- 
ence. The Gaigai is therefore a cycle that lifts one up to the level of 
the Chayol, which are in the Universe of Yetzirah, 

The Bahir slates that the Gaigai is the Womb." In one sense, 
this is speaking of the Gatgat as the cycle of time. The present is the 
womb in which the future is born. As we have seen earlier ( l:5} h the 
dimension of time is seen as extending between Chakhmah and 
Binah. Chakhmah is the past, while Binah is the future. The present 
is the interface between these two Sefirot. Binah is the Mother, and 
the Gatgat is Her womb. 

An important cycle that we have discussed earlier ( 1 :4) is the oscil- 
lation between Chakhmah and Binah consciousness. The first initiation 
into the spiritual domain comes through this exercise, and hence, as a 
Gatgal, it is the entrance into the mysteries. In this sense, ihe Gaigai is 
ihe womb from which one is reborn into a spiritual plane. 



The Heart 

The heart is seen as king over ihe soul (6:3). Of all parts in the 
body, it is the dominant one. The soul relates to the spiritual dimen- 
sion. Thus, when the Sefer Yetzirah speaks of the mystical experi- 
ence, it describes it as a "running of the heart" <1 :8)- 

The Hebrew word for heart is Lev (a 6 ?), and as mentioned earlier 
(1:1). this is also the number 32 in Hebrew. As the Bahir states, the 
heart represents the 32 Paths of Wisdom. u It is through ihe&e 32 



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Chapter Six 241 

paths that one ascends into (he spiritual dimension. The Book of 
Raziel similarly states, "Breath [Ruachi emanates from the heart, just 
Like the Holy Spirit [Ruach HvKodesh) emanates from the Throne [of 
Glory]."" 

The Bahir also states that this Heart is the scriptural "Heart of 
heaven," 

The one place where this is mentioned is in the account of the 
revelation at Sinai: "You came close, and you stood under the moun- 
tain. and the mountain burned in fire, until the heart of heaven — 
darkness, cloud, ;ind gloom. And God spoke to you from out of the 
fire" (Deuteronomy 4:1 l t l2). M 

From the context, we see that the fire that reached to ^the heart 
of heaven** was the fire associated with revelation, from which God 
spoke. Such fire is the third step in the initiation of revelation, as we 
find in the case of Ezekiel's vision, which was initiated with "a 
storm wind . , , a great cloud, and flashing fire" (EzekieL l;4) T It was 
only in the fire that he visualized the Chashmal. Similarly, in Elijah's 
vision, the three steps were, "wind . , . sound , . . and fire* ( I Kings 
19: 1 1-12). In one place* the Midrash also relates this fire to the ladder 
in Jacob's dream," This ladder is also the vehicle through which one 
climbs into the transcendental. 

The three steps mentioned by Ezekiel also appear paralle] those 
taught by the Sefer Yetzirah (1:10-12). First comes Breath {Ruach}, 
which can also be translated as wind, which is the "storm wind" of 
EzekieL Then comes "water from Breath," which can be associated 
with the raindoud that he saw. The opaqueness of this cloud is simi- 
lar to the •* mi re and clay" mentioned in Sefer Yetzirah. 

The third step is "fire from water." This is the "flashing fire** 
seen by EzekieL The Sefer Yetzirah says that out of this fire one 
depicts. "The throne of Glory, Serafim, Ophanim, and holy Chayoi" 
(1:12), Similarly, after experiencing the fire, Ezekiel was able to visu- 
alize the Chayot and the Throne of Glory, 

It is this fire of revelation that is said to reach "to the heart of 
heaven. n The heart is the king over the dimension of spirit, and one 
travels through this dimension by means of fire. This fine therefore 
reaches the "heart,** The Heart represents the 32 paths on the Tree 
of Life. 

In this verse, the scripture states that God spoke "out of the fire." 
Elsewhere, however, it says- '"You heard His voice out of the midst 
of the darkness** (Deuteronomy 5:20), But as the Zohar states, the 
"fire" mentioned here is the fire of darkness." It is the burning long- 
ing that comes from the total nullification of thought. This is also 
associated with the "black Tire" with which the primeval Toiah was 
written.* 3 



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241 SEFER YETZIRAH 

In the ECabbalah. the word "heaven 1 " is usually associated with 
Zer Anpin. The "heart of heaven** is therefore the heart of Zer 
Anpin.^ 

It is significant that the Bahir relates the Teli to the hair on the 
head, while the Galgal is related to the womb or belly. The Heart is 
naturally associated with the chest. Thus, from these three, we have 
the head, belly and chest, the three parts of the body associated with 
the Three Mothers, AMSh. 

The TelL associated with the head, would then relate to the Shin. 
The Galgah associated with the belly, would relate to the Mem, and 
the Heart, to the Alef Out of the Three Mothers, we derive the kings 
over the Universe, Year and Soul, This results in the five- 
dimensional continuum being divided into space, time, and the 
spiritual. 

In another sense, the Teii is the axis, representing the Longitudi- 
nal angle. The Gatgat is the sphere, representing the azimuthal angle 
or latitude . The Heart is the radius or altitude. Thus, these three 
kings represent the three-dimensional iri spherical coordinates. The 
five-dimensional continuum can likewise be represented in 
hypersphcrkal coordinates. 

The Kabbalists note that the initial letters of Teli (Vi). Galgal 
(Sihj) and Lev faS} spell out TaGeL (Sin) r This is in the verse, M My 
soul will rejoice {TaGel) in my God" (Isaiah 61:10)," It is through 
meditation on these three elements that the soul can attain mystical 
ecstasy. 

This word also occurs in the verse, "God is king, let the earth 
rejoice {TaGef}" (Psalms 97:1). This can be interpreted to say. "God 
is King, Teli Galgal Lev is the earth ™ indicating that these are the 
three kings over His creation, as the Sefer Yeftirah later stales (6:3). 
These are the deep mystery, as it is written, "The mystery of another 
do not reveal {TGaLT (Proverbs 25:9). 



6:2 



:6ytf? vx frtf o*0 t*ik P"On mo** vSbt 
jn*w o*m*3 y*i3Q pn nn tiki tooS d*di 
'n jpmp 'p Jinan 'o ,D*an n« trenj pttn -anS 
mrwn yon pn rm Tiee 



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Chapter Si.x 243 



Three Mothers AMSh (von) 

Air, water and fire. 
Fire is above, water is below, 

and air of Breath is the rule 
ikat decides between them. 
And a sign of this thing 

is that fire supports water 
Mem Hums, Shin hisses, 

and Alefis the breath of air 
that decides between them. 



This is essentially a repetition of 3:4 and 2: 1. 

Water and Mem represent Chakhmah, while fire and Shin 
denote Bin ah. Since Chakhmah is usually considered to be above 
Binah, it is somewhat difficult to understand why fire is seen as being 
above water, * 

The reason behind this, however, is related to the penetiation of 
Chakhmah and flinah into Zer Anpin {Microprosopus), The 
Kabbaltsts teach that Yesod of Chakhmah penetrates down to Yesod 
of Zer Anpin, while Yesod of Dinah only penetrates as far as the heart 
(Tiferel) of Zer Anpin, Since Binah ends in the heart, it is often iden- 
tified with this organ. Chakhmah is clothed in Binah, and since Binah 
ends in the heart, it is there thai Chakhmah is first revealed. The 32 
Paths are thus identified with the heart {LeV) y which is Binah, but 
they are also identified with Chakhmah. iT 

Thus, even though "fire is above and water is below,** still, "fire 
supports water." Wisdom may penetrate creation to a greater degree 
than Understanding, and may be found in lower levels, but still, 
Binah "supports" Chakhmah, and is below it. This is reflected in the 
sounds of the Mem and Shin, which represent these as states of 
consciousness. 

As discussed earlier, on the basis of the Bahir, the Teli is identi- 
fied with the head, the Catgut with the belly, and the Heart with the 
che*t. Thus, the Teli relates to Shin and fire, the Gat gat, to Mem and 
water and the Heart to Alef and air. What we therefore discover is 
that space is related to fire, time to water, and spirit to air, 



6:3 



l^oo :\mz *?ibi wo3 by ^oo vhytz *Srt 



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Z44 SEFER YET2JRAH 

The Teii in the Universe is like a king on his throne. 
The Cycle in the Year is tike a king in the province. 
The Heart in the Soul is like a king in war 



The Teii in [he Universe 

The word "king" always alludes id the Sefirah of Malkhut (King- 
ship), It denotes the interaction between a ruler and his subjects. 
When we speak of an entity as a king, it is an indication that it is 
interacting with something thai is below it. 

The Teii is the king over the Universe, that is, over the domain 
of space. It is seen as a "king on his throne " Although the Teii inter- 
acts with space, it does not become part of it. 

We can see this in two ways. First of all we can take the view 
that the Teii is the axis around which the universe revolves. In circu- 
lar motion around an axis, everything moves but the axis itself The 
axis is the focus, of the motion, but does not partake in it. Similarly, 
the Teii is king over space, but does not become part of it. 

The same is true if we view the Teii as the link between i he spirit- 
ual and the physical. In this respect also, the spiritual does not enter 
into the physical." 

As discussed earlier, ( 1:4,1 2), a ^Throne" always involves a con- 
cept of lowering and concern. The Teii thus represents the spiritual 
being lowered so as to interact with the physical. 

Even though a king sitting on his throne may not come between 
his subject*, he is still highly affected by them. The spiritual is simi- 
larly affected by the physical. 

The Cycle in the Year 

Unlike the axis, the cycle not only defines time* but also becomes 
part of time. The cycle cannot stand still in time, but must include itself 
within the flow of time Hence, it is like a "king in the province," 

That which defines space can remain alool" from space. Thai 
which defines time T on the other hand, cannot remain apart from it. 

In human tenns, it is the mind that provides a perception of both 
space and time. You can stand in one place and perceive a Large por- 
tion of space. Like the TelL you can perceive large zircas of space, and 
still remain aloof from them. You do not actually have to be in a 
portion of space in order to perceive it. 

This is not true of lime. You can only perceive the time in which 
you exist. You may perceive the past in memory, or the future in the 



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Chapter Six 245 

imagination, but direct perception only exists in the present. You can 
perceive space at a distance, but time only when in proximity to it. 
Since no one can perceive the future, you cannot know what you 
will do later. It is due to this fact that you can have free will in the 
present. Thus, it is this basic difference between space and time that 
allows freedom of action. 

The Heart in the Soul 

The different spacial points, as well as past and future, involve 
end points in their respective conlinua. Still, they do not represent 
opposite*. In the spiritual dimension, on the other hand, the two end 
points are good and evil, and these are diametrical opposite*. 

Since the heart is the midpoint between these onposites, it is seen 
as the site of battle between good and evil. The Talmud therefore 
identifies the heart as the scene of the battle between the Good Urge 
{Yetzer Tov) and the Evil Urge {Yetzer HaRa)™ 



6:4 



rnm» naitj airarr rise proo y-»m jnn ntt prao 



"Also God made one opposite ike other" {Ecclesiastes 1:14), 
Good opposite evil, 

Evil opposite good. 
Good from good 

Evil from evit 
Good defines evil 

And evil defines good. 
Good is kept for the good ones 

And evil is kept for the evil ones, 



One opposite the other 

This speaks of the heart, which is like a "king in battle." The two 
extremes on the spiritual axis — good and evil — are actual opposites. 
Like light and darkness, the two cannot coexist. 



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246 SEFER YETZERAH 

Good from good 

As discussed earlier (l:5) t good is the point on this axis that is 
closest to God, Evil is the side that is furthest front Him. All good 
comes from the side of good, while all evil comes from the other side. 

Good defines evil 

The Zohar explains that light can only be recognized because of 
the existence of darkness. w If there were no darkness, Eight would be 
an integral part of the environment, and such an integral pan cannot 
be sensed. Thus, for example, we cannot sense the air, since it is an 
integral part of our normal environment. Since air is always present, 
there is no need for us to have senses to detect its presence or 
absence. 

Similarly, if light were always present, without being divided 
into shades and colors, we could not see anything with it. Every shade 
or color involves some absorhtion of lignt, and hence, a degree of 
darkness. 

In a similar manner, good can only be recognized because of the 
existence of eviL If evil did not exist s then we would not have any 
free choice whatever, We would be like mere puppets or robots. It is 
only because of the existence of good and evil that free will can exist, 
where we can choose between them. Conversely, it is only as a result 
of free will that good and evil can be recognized and defined. 



Good is kept for the good ones 

The dimension of good and evil not only serves to define these 
concepts, but also serves to reward them. It is taught that Gad cre- 
ated the world in order to bestow good to the world. 61 But what good 
does He offer? 

First of all, wc must realize that any good that God gives must 
be the ultimate good that His creation can accept. The Psalmist said 
"How great is Your goodi stored up for those who fear You" (Psalms 
3 1:20). Our sages interpret this to say that God bestows good in the 
greatest possible abundance. 62 In another place, they teach us that 
this verse means thai God is idling us, "You according to your 
strength, and Me according 10 Mine."" In other words, God gives us 
the greatest good that we can possibly accept. 

But what is this ultimate good? What is the greatest possible 
good that God can bestow? 



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Chapter Six 247 

Jf we think about it, ihc answer is really quite simple The greats 
est possible good is God Himself.*-* There is no other ultimate true 
good The Psalmist thus said, "I have no good but You" (Psalms 
1 6:2). In the Talmud, Rabbi Acha interprets this to mean that no true 
good exists in the world, except that of God Himself." 

The ultimate good is therefore to partake of God, and it is this 
good that He planned to give the world. He would create a world 
where creatures ultimately could partake of His essence. The Psalmist 
sings of this, "Taste and see that God is good, happy is the man who 
finds refuge in Him" (Psalms 34:9). 

God therefore created the world in such a way that we could 
draw close to Him and partake of His essence. Of course, we are not 
speaking of physical closeness, but of spiritual closeness. Such close- 
ness involves the knowledge and understanding of God. as well as 
resembling Him to the greatest degree possible. 

Here again, we hear this in the words of the Psalmist, "But for 
mc. the nearness of God is good. 1 have made God my refuge, that 
1 may tell of His works." (Psalms 7? 28). The Psalmist is leaching us 
thai his ultimate good is nearness to God, This nearness involves 
"telling of His works* — that is, a deep knowledge and perception of 
the Divine." 

The ultimate good that God offers is therefore the opportunity 
to perceive Him, In one place, our sages thus teach us that God cre- 
ated the world in order that men may know Him. 67 This is not a sepa- 
rate reason, but the way in which He bestows His good upon us>* 
God thus told us through His prophet . "I am your God. 1 teach you 
for your good" (Isaiah 4&: 17) T The Psalmist expresses the same idea 
when he says, "You are good, and You do good, teach me Your 
decrees" (Psalms 1 19:68). 

To know God and understand Him in any way is to have a deep 
awe and dread of His Majesty. All true wisdom is that of God. But 
such wisdom and knowledge imply the fear and reverence of God. 
The Psalmist thus said, "The beginning of Wisdom is the fear of 
God" (Psalms 111:10). Solomon expressed the same idea when he 
said, "The fear of God is the beginning of Knowledge" (Proverbs 
1:7).** 

We can therefore say that the ultimate goal of creation is that we 
should come close lo God, and therefore boih know and fear Him. 
Again we hear tht; words of Solomon, "Whatever God does shall be 
forever , , , God has made it so that man should fear Him" (Ecclesias- 
tes 3:14). The Talmud comments on this, saying that the world was 
created for the fear of God. 70 This is man's true purpose in the world, 
as we find again, "The sum of the matter, when all has been heard: 
Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is all of man" (Eccle- 



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24t SEFER YETZIRAH 

siastes 12:13}, la the Talmud T Rabbi ELazar comments on this and 
says. "Solomon is teaching us that all the world was created for the 
fear of God." 71 

When our sages say that the world was created for the fear of 
God, they are not contradicting the teaching that it was created as a 
vehicle for His good- What they are doing is expressing what this 
good ultimately is. It is a Knowledge of God that is most perfectly 
expressed by the reverence and awe that we caJl the "fear of God." 

The ultimate place wheie we will be worthy of this vision, and 
perception will be in what we call Otam HaBah—lht Future World 
or the World to Come. It is a world of absolute life and goodness. It 
is of the vision of the World to Come that the Psalmist is speaking 
of when he says, "I believe that I will gaze upon God in the land of 
the living" {Psalms 27:13). This "land of the living" is the Future 
World. 7 * 

It is this future world that is the goal of all creation. Our sages 
thus teach us, "This world is Like an antechamber before the World 
to Come. Prepare yourself in the antechamber before you enter the 
pa lace, r,Ji 

Since this Future World is the ultimate goal of creation, it is also 
the place of ultimate good. In the Language of the Talmud, it is calked, 
"the World where all is good/*' 4 It is a good that surpasses anylhmg 
that this world may possibly have to offer. This is what our sages 
mean when they say, "One moment of delight in the Future World 
is more than all the good of this world."™ 

We can obtain some idea of what this Future World will be like 
from a common saying of Rav, quoted in the Talmud^ He said "In 
the Future World, there will be no eating, drinking, chiLdbearing or 
business. Neither will there be jealousy, hatred or strife. The right- 
eous will sit with their crowns on their heads, delighting in the radi- 
ance of the Divine Presence." 

Our sages teach us that this "radiance of the Divine Presence" 
is a perception of the Divine." In the Future World, we will perceive 
and comprehend God in the greatest degree possible. 

This perception of Cod in the Future World is totally beyond 
our present grasp. That of the least of us will pale the achievements 
of the greatest sages in this world. Still, of course, it will be impossible 
to perceive God in His entirely. This is impossible for any being 
other than God Himself. Although incomparable to anything in this 
life T our perception will still be less than a drop in an infinite ocean. 
Nevertheless, it will far exceed anything possible in this world. n 

In order that we may approach Him, God created a dimension 
of nearness to His being. By moving through this dimension, we are 
able to come closer and closer to God, even though we can never 
actually reach Him, This dimension is what we call the spiritual 

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Chapter Six 249 

world. Our sages call the highest spiritual world Atzitut— the World 
of Nearness. All the spiritual worlds were created as vehicles through 
which we may draw near to God. In a sense, they serve as a filter, 
allowing us to draw near, and still not be obliterated by His infinite 
Lights 

In a number of places, our sages speak of these worlds as the 
Celestial Treasuries. Thus, Israel sings to Goo\ "The King will bring 
me into His chamber" (Song of Songs 1 :4), The sages comment that 
God will bring the righteous into His celestial chambers and allow 
them to probe the treasuries on high.*" 

This is also the meaning of the light that was made on the first 
day of creation. Our sages teach us that it was not mere physical Light, 
but a wonderous light with which one could see "from one end of the 
universe to the other"* ' This was the Light of perception, shining in 
all the spiritual worlds, with which one could experience this vision 
of God. Our sages thus continue, "God set this light aside for the 
righteous in the World to Come."* 2 

This is the light of perception with which we will partake of the 
Divine— the ^radiance of the Divine Presence,*' Elihu was speaking 
of this when he told Job that God will "turn back his soul from 
destruction, and illuminate him in the light of life" (Job 33:30). Solo- 
mon informs us that this light is the source of eternal Life, when he 
says, "In the light of the King's face is Life" (Proverbs 16:I5). JJ 

God's ultimate goal in creation was therefore the World to 
Come 1 where man could perceive a vision of God. Not God Himself, 
of course, but a vision. Perhaps through many filters, but still, a 
vision of God. The Psalmist sings of this vision, "In righteousness, I 
will see Your face, when I awake, I will be satiated with a vision of 
You" (Psalms 1 7; 15). The Psalmist is speaking of the time when he 
will awake to the delights of the Future World. Our sages comment 
on ihis verse, "God will satisfy the righteous with a vision of the 
Divine Presence."" 

The bliss of the Future World will be endless. In His endless 
goodness, God will give us a world of good without end. The Psalmist 
is spealcing of this when he exclaims, "In Your presence is fullness of 
joy, in Your right hand is bliss forever" (Psalms L6;l lj, as 

Of course, everything about this Future World is totally beyond 
our powers of description. Even the visions of the greatesi prophets 
will pale in comparison. It is something that no human mind can pos- 
sibly imagine in this Life. It cannot come through human understand- 
ing, hut only as a gift from God t and when He gives it, we will under- 
stand. The prophet therefore says when speaking of the World to 
Come: "Never has the ear heard it— no eye has seen it— other than 
God: That which He will do for those who hope in Him" (Isaiah 
64:3). ** 



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250 SEFER YETZIRAH 

This good is not given as a reward, but as a direct result of a 
person's binding himself to good. A person attains that to which he 
attaches himself. 87 



6:5 



into rota m« ionj? naS mw ^ npStf 
rtiffSr rtjnv .oMuia ynan into n>»ru3 
ivy o»jvi .crnrs rnoa pn inw rrer'w [ 7ia 
o*«w wStt trnrm rrvSp nanSaa paijr 
^n n^m« tto'tf .o*rriaa np^cn D»na roSp 
n^W p^m mam "taan o*«jtp toSp o*it«m 
*jp xPTvnn nv^Pi birram ^n;i *apj w d»to 
wnp pyoo d^33 bvia pto Y?o Ski num 

crapjn 
*x by hipSp .np^r *ai Sp in« ,tj> h? iy 
tnra m o*p™ °^i "^p a>:u ^ ^P ^SW 

Jlfrree; 

facto oiif stands alone 
one acts as advocate 
one acts as accuser 

and one decides between them. 
Seven; 

Three opposite three 

and one is the rule deciding between them. 
TWelve stand in war- 
Three love, 
three hate, 

three give life 
and three kill 
Three love; the heart and the ears. 
Three hate: the liver, the gall, and the tongue. 
Three give life: the two nostrils and the spleen. 
Three kill: the two orifices and the mouth. 
And God faithful King rules over them all 
from His holy habitation 

until eternity of eternities. 
One on three 
three on seven 
seven on twelve. 
And all are bound, one to another. 



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Chapter Six 251 

One acts as an advocate 
See 2:1 and 3:1. 

Seven: three opposite three 

The sequence three, seven, twelve, can be defined in a number 
of ways. One 1 which we have discussed earlier (1:2), involved l he 
lines connecting the Sefirot. However, there is another important 
sequence that also yields these numbers. 

This second sequence can also be expressed in a number of ways. 
The most obvious involves the first three regular polygons. The sim- 
plest polygon, the triangle has three points. When inscribed in a 
square, one then has seven points. Finally, when both are inscribed 
in a pentagon, there are a total of twelve points. See figure 64 on page 
252. On a more sophisticated level, this sequence can be represented 
by a triangle, a tetrahedron, and a hypertetrahedron. 

Another significant sequence that yields exactly the same result 
is that of truncated triangles. See figure 65 on page 252. 

Section A (figure 65) consists of three points. Here, the one to 
the right is the advocate, the one to the left is the accuser, and the 
middle point is the deciding one. This is the concept of thesis, anti- 
thesis, and synthesis, discussed earlier 42:1). 

Figure 6tf (on page 25.1) consists of seven points in a truncated 
triangle. This can be divided into two triangles, each representing the 
original triad, and a center point in the middle. In the top section of 
figure 66 T we can clearly see seven distinct steps from right to left. 

We also have twelve points in a truncated triangle shown in both 
figures 65 and 66. Here there are no Longer seven distinct steps, since 
three are duplicated in the lop and bottom lines. The three on top 
are the ones that give life, while the three on the bottom are the three 
that kill. The triangle to the right represents love, while that to the 
left are the three who hate, (See section B in figure 66), 

Hate can also be represented in this diagram by a large inverted 
triangle. It is hate because the three points are separated, The smaller, 
inner triangle, where the points are not separated, then represents 
love. The two triangles to the right and left (in figure 66) are then life 
and death. 

And God faithful King 

The expression here is exactly the same used in 1:5, The Hebrew 
word Ma'on for habitation has also been explained there. 



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252 



SEFER VETZIRAH 



Three 



Sevtn 



Twclvr 




Figure 64. The sequetwe vf polygons. 



Three 



o o c 



Seven 



o o o 
o o o o 



o o o 

Twclvt o O O 

o o o o o 
General Formula; n (n + 5V2 

Figure 65. The sequence of frunaited tri<mgtw. 



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Chapter Six 25 J 



A°A 



o— o— o 



Figure 66. A) Three opposite three, and one is rhe rule deciding be- 
tween them, B) Twelve stand in war; Three love, three hate, ihree give 
fife r and three kiiL 



Three A — 



Ten: three on seven 



» 




Twenty-two: 

three on « vtn 

«even on twelve C 

Figure 6?. Three M> become three on seven tB) t which becomes sewn 
on twvtve (C). The general formula here is nin+l) in+8}!6. 

One on three 

The One is the ineffable, which is not counted in the sequence. 

Three on seven 

When the truncated triangle of three i& placed on that of seven, 
one has a truncated pyramid containing ten points. These represent 
the Ten Sefirot, See figure 67. 



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2S4 SEFER YETZIRAH 

When this, in turn, is placed on the truncated triangle containing 
twelve points, this yields a truncated pyramid with 22 points. These 
represent the 22 letters of the alphabet. 



6:6 



mna ppn p2& jii>nw o'npi :ripy on iS« 

mtov mn» mrr* o*nbet o*nbtt mn* m 

npStt ono rrvyi *m mrr* *w Sk man* dviSk 

*73 JTK QH3 IVf laViy *W UK DTO MIDI O'TDP 



rftwc ar? Mr * iwwfv-fHio fetters 
with which engraved 
Ehyeh, Yak YHVH Elohim, YHVH, 
YHVH Tzavaot. Elohim Tzavaot, Ef Shaddai, 
YHVIfAdonoy, 

And with them He made three Books. 

and with them He created His Universe, 
and He formed with them all that was ever formed, 
and all that ever will be formed. 



This is very similar to 1:1. The ten divine names here represent 
the Ten Sefirot in descending order. See Table 55, 



Table 55 The ten divine names. 



Sefnah 


Name 


Keter 


Ehyeh (I Will Be) 


Chakhmah 


Yah 


Binah 


YHVH (pronounced Elohim) 


Chesed 


El 


Gevurah 


Elohim 


Tiferel 


YHVH 


Neizach 


YHVH Tiavaot (Lord of Hosts) 


Hod 


Elohim Tzavaot (God of Hosts) 


Yesod 


El Shaddai (Almighty God) 


Malkhut 


YHVH Adonoy 



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6:7 



Chapter Six 255 

p;im nam tran n'y u^^** omw kjm 
mtuer ne^ian mi nnbyi ysrw pprn -pm 
ban }n« vSp nSw to pra ipj? ton pw:i jiki 

rhy ip ljnrSi iS n>T3 rroi >jtiw or™ w-ipi 
ms iS jvoi .npiv iS rawnn 'ra foam tokjp 
ipj; f»3i )n?Sn rina Kim in* jiijotk "icy pa 
tntfp Ttppi .nS>arr jvia *om rtn mpavK 
mo nx n nVii uivSa rnirn nvnw o»mpi 
nyaw pya m-Q ppjn Pta jp 1 ?! D*m pm 



4/id H f Am Abraham our father, may he rest in peace, 
looked, saw, understood* probed, 
engraved and carved. 
He was successful in creation, 
as it is written* 

"And the souls thai they made in Haran" (Genesis 
12:5). 
Immediately there was revealed to him the Master of alt 

may His name be blessed forever. 
He placed him in His bosom, and kissed Him on his head, 
and He called him* 

"Abraham my beloved" (Isaiah 41:8). 
He made a covenant with him 

and with his children after him forever, 

as it is written, 
"And he believed in God, and He considered 

and He considered it righteousness' (Genesis 15:6), 
He made with him a covenant 

between the ten fingers of his hands — 
this is the cownant of the tongue, 
and between the ten toes of his feet — 
this is the covenant of circumcision* 
And He bound the 22 letters of the Torah to his tongue 

and He revealed to him His mystery 
He drew them in water. 

He flamed them with fire. 

He agitated them with Breath r 

He burned them with the seven /planets] 

He directed them with the twelve constellations. 



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256 SEFER VETZIRAH 

And when Abraham our father , , . 

It is from here thai a tradition is derived linking Abraham to the 
Sefer Yetzirah, 



Engraved and carved 

Here we clearly see that "engraving" and "carving" involve med- 
itative techniques, 1 * This has already been discussed previously 
0:14). 

Before one can engage in these techniques, however, one must, 
"look, see, understand, and probe " These techniques have also been 
discussed {1:4), 



And he was successful 

The complete verse quoted here relates to Abraham's leaving 
Haran at God's command, and it slates, "So Abram went, as God 
had told him,., and Abram took his wife Sar&i, and his nephew Lot, 
and all the substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they 
had made in Haran" {Genesis 12:5). This implies that before God 
had spoken to him and told him to leave his land, Abraham had 
already mastered the mysteries of Sefer Yetzirah, 

The Kabbalists note that the verse says, "the souls that they 
made,* 1 in the plural. This indicates that one attempting to make a 
Golem should not work alone, but should do so in partnership with 
others. 



He made a covenant 
See 1:3. 

He drew them in water 

This indicates that the symbolism of water and fire, discussed 
earlier ( 1 : 1 1 ,1 2), also relate to meditative techniques. 



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APPENDIX 1 

Other Versions of the 

Sefer Yetzirah 



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THE SHORT VERSION 

{In order to show how it can be done, this has been translated in the 
imperative. The bracketed portions are those omitted by Donash.) 



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Appendix f 161 



Chapter 1 



1 . With 32 wondrous paths of Wisdom engrave Yah, the Lord of 
Hosts, [God of Israel, the Li vine God, King of the universe, Almighty 
God, merciful and gracious, High and Exalted, dwelling in eternity, 
whose name is Holy, and create His universe] with three books, with 
text {Sepher), with number (Sephar), and with communication 
(Sippur), 

X Ten Sefirot of Nothingness plus twenty-two [foundation] letters: 
Three Mothers, Seven Doubles, and Twelve Elemental^ 

3 H Ten Sefirot of Nothingness: The number of the ten fingers, five 
opposite five, with a single covenant precisely in the middle, like the 
circumcision of the tongue and the circumcision of the membrum. 

4. Ten Sefirot of Nothingness: Ten and not nine; ten and not cieven. 
Understand with Wisdom, and be wise with Understanding. Examine 
with them and probe from them, make a thing stand on its essence, 
and make the Creator sit on His base. 

5. Ten Sefirot of Nothingness: Their measure is ten which have no 
end. A depth of beginning, a depth of end; a depth of good, a depth 
of evil; a depth above, a depth below; a depth east, a depth west; a 
depth north, a depth south. The singular Master, God faithful King, 
dominates them all from His holy dwelling until eternity of 
eternities. 

6. Ten Sefirot of Nothingness: Their vision is like the "appearance 
of lightning," their limit has no end. His Word in them is "running 
and returning," They rush to His saying like a whirlwind, and before 
His throne they prostrate themselves, 

1. Ten Sefirot of Nothingness: Their end is imbedded in their begin- 
ning, and their beginning in their end, like a flame in a burning coal. 
For the Master is singular, He has no second. And before One, what 
do you count? 

8. Ten Sefirot of Nothingness: Bridle your mouth from speaking and 
your heart from thinking. And if your heart runs + return to the place, 
as it is written, "The Chayol running and returning" (Ezekiel 1:14). 
Regarding this a covenant was made. 

9. Ten Sefirot of Nothingness: One is the Breath of the Living God T 
blessed and benedicted be the Name of the Life of worlds. Voice, 
Breath and Speech. This is the Holy Breath {Rvach HaKodeshy 



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262 SEFER VETZLRAH 

LO. Two: Breath from Breath, With it engrave and carve twenty-two 
foundation letters— three Mothers, seven Doubles, and twelve 
Elemental— and one Breath is from them, 

I L , Three: Water from Breath, With it engrave and carve chaos and 
void, mire and clay. Engrave them Like a garden plot, carve them Like 
a waLL t cover them lik^ a ceiling. 

1 1. Four: Fire from water. With it engrave and carve the Throne of 
Glory, Seraphim, Ophanim, holy Chayot, and Ministering Angels. 
From the three establish His dwelling, as it is written, "He makes His 
angels of breaths, His ministers from flaming fire" (PsaLms 104:4), 

13, Five: With three of the simple letters seal "above" Choose three 
and place them in His great Name: YHV, With them seal the si* 
extremities. Face upward and seal it with YHV\ 

Six: Seal "below." Face downward and seal it with YVrL 

Seven: Seal "east" Face straight ahead and seal it with HYV. 

Eight: Seal "west." Face backward and seal it with HVY. 

Nine: Seal "south." Face to the right and seal it with VYR 

Ten: Seal "norths Face to the left and seal it with VHY, 

14, These are the Ten Sefirot of Nothingness. One is the Breath of 
the Living God> Breath [from Breath], Water [from Breath], Fire 
[from water, and the extremities], up, down, east west, north and 
south. 



Chapter 2 



L Twenty-two foundation Letters: three Mothers, seven Doubles, and 
twelve Elemental. The three Mothers, AMSh t their foundation is the 
pan of merit, the pan of liability, and the tongue of decree deciding 
between them. 

2. Twenty-two letters: Engrave them, carve them, weigh them, per- 
mute them, and transform them, and with them depict the soul of all 
that was formed and all that will be formed in the future. 

3. Twenty-two [foundation] letters: They are engraved with voice, 
carved with breath, and placed in the mouth in five places: AChHO, 
BVMP, GYKQ, DTLNTh, ZSShRTz. 

4. Twenty-two foundation letters: They are set in a circle as 231 
Gates. The circle rotates back and forth. And this is a sign: There is 



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Appendix I 263 

no good higher than delight (OA'G), and there is no evil lower than 
plague (NGOl 

5, How? Weigh them and transpose them, Alef with each one, and 
each one with AJef; Bet with each one, and each one with Bet They 
repeat in a cycle. Therefore, everything formed and everything spo- 
ken emanates in one name. 

6. Form substance out of chaos and make nonexistence into exis- 
tence. Carve great pillars out of air that cannot be grasped. This is 
the sign: One foresees, transposes, and makes all creation and ail 
words with one Name. And a sign of this: Twenty-two objects in a 
single body. 



Chapter 3 



1 . Three Mothers, AMSh: Their foundation is the pan of liability, the 
pan of merit, and the tongue of decree deciding between them. 

2. Three mothers, AMSh: A great mystical, concealed secret, sealed 
with six rings. And from it emanate fire and water, separating them- 
selves as male and female. Three Mothers, AMSh, are their founda- 
tion, and from them are bora the Fathers, from which everything was 
created. 

3. Three Mothers, AMSh, in the Universe are air, water, and fire. 
Heaven was created from fire, earth was created from water, and the 
air decides between the fire and the water. 

4. Three mothers, AMSh, in the Year are fire, water, and breath. The 
hot is created from fire, the cold is created from water, and the tem- 
perate from breath decides between them. 

Three Mothers, AMSh, in the Soul are fire, water, and breath. 
The head is created from fire, the belly is created from water, and 
the chest, created from breath, decides between them. 

5. Three Mother, AMSh; Engrave them, carve them, permute them, 
and with them seal three Mothers in the Universe, three Mothers in 
the Year, and three Mothers in the Soul, male and female. 

6. Make Alef king over breath, bind a CTOwn to it, and combine one 
with another. And with them seal air in the Universe, the temperate 
in the Year, and the chest in the Soul, the male with AMSh, and the 
female with ASnM. 

7. Make Mem king over water, bind a crown to it, and combine one 
with another. And with them seal earth in the Universe, the cold in 



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264 SEFER YETZ1RAH 

the Year, and the belly in the Soul, the male with MASh, and the 
female with MShA. 

S. Make Shin king over Tire, bind a crown to it, and combine one 
with another And with them seal heaven in the Universe, the hot in 
the Year, and the head in the sou), the male [with ShAM), and the 
female [with ShMA]. 



Chapter 4 



1, Seven Doubles, BGD KPRT: Their foundation is life, peace, wis- 
dom, wealth, grace, seed, dominance. Each has two sounds: B-Bh, 
G-Gh, D-Dh, K-Kh, P-Ph, R-Rh, T-Th, [A structure of) soft and 
hard, [a struclure of] strong and weak, double because ihey are trans- 
poses. The transpose of life is death, the transpose of peace is evil, 
the transpose of wisdom is folly, the transpose of wealth is poverty, 
the transpose of grace is ugliness, the transpose of seed is desolation , 
the transpose of dominance is subjugation. 

2. [Seven Doubles, BGD KPRT: Seven and not six, seven and not 
eight. Examine with them and probe from them, make each thing 
stand on its essence, and make the Creator sit on His base.] 

3, Seven Doubles* BGD KPRT, parallel the seven extremities. These 
are the six extremities: up, down, east, west, north, south. And the 
Holy Palace precisely in the middle upholds them all, 

4. Seven Doubles, BGD KPRT: Engrave them, carve them, combine 
them, as planets in the Universe, days in the Year, and gates in the 
Soul. From them engrave seven firmaments, seven earths, seven 
weeks Seven is therefore beloved under ail the heavens 

5, [How? Make Bet king over life, bind a crown to it, and with it 
depict Saturn in the Universe, Sunday in the Year, and the right eye 
in the Soul, 

6. [Make Gimel king, bind a crown to it, and with it depict Jupiter 
in the Universe, Monday in the Year, and the left eye in the Soul, 

7 h [Make Dalet king, bind a crown to it, and with it depict Mars in 
the Universe, Tuesday in the Year, and the right ear in the Soul. 

$. [Make Kaf king, bind a crown to it h and with it depict the Sun in 
the Universe, Wednesday in the Year, and the left ear in the Soul. 



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Appendix I 26$ 

9. [Make Peh king, bind a crown to it* and with it depict Venus in 
the Universe, Thursday in the Year T and the right nostril in the 
Soul. 

10* [Make Resh king, bind a crown to it, and with it depict Mercury 
in the Universe* Friday in the Year, and the left nostril in the Soul. 

1 1 . [Make Tav king, bind a crown to it, and with it depict the Moon 
in the Universe, the Sabbath in the Year, and the mouth in the 
Soul.] 

12. The Seven Doubles* how does one permute them? Two stones 
build two houses* three build six houses, four build 24 houses* five 
build 120 houses, six build 720 houses, and seven build 5040 houses. 
From there on go out and calculate that which the mouth cannot 
speak and the ear cannot hear. 

These are the seven planets in the Universe: The Sun, Venus, 
Mercury, the Moon, Saturn, Jupiter, Mars.' These are the seven days 
in the Year: The seven days of creation. And the Seven gates in the 
Soul are the two eyes, the two ears* the two nostrils, and the mouth, 
And with them were engraved the seven firmaments, the seven 
earths, the seven hours. Seven is therefore beloved for every desire 
under heaven. 2 



Chapter 5 



1, Twelve Elementals: HV ZCh TY LN SO TzQ. Their foundation is 
sight, hearing, smell, speech, taste, coition, action, motion, auger, 
laughter, thought, and sleep. Their measure is the twelve diagonal 
boundaries: the north-east boundary, the south-east boundary, the 
upper-east boundary, the Lower-east boundary, the upper-north 
boundary, the lower-north boundary, the south-west boundary, the 
north-west boundary, the upper- west boundary, the lower- west 
boundary, the upper-south boundary, the lower-south boundary. 
They continually spread for ever and ever, They are the Arms of the 
Universe, 

2, Twelve Elementals: HV ZCh TY LN SO TzQ. Engrave them, carve 
them, weigh them, permute them, transpose them, and with them 
depict the twelve constellations in the Onivese: Aries, Taurus, Gem- 
ini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, 
Aquarius, and Pisces; the tweJve months in the Year: Nissan, lyar, 
Si van, Tamuz, Av, Elul, Tishrei, Mar-cheshvan, Kislev, Tevet, She- 
vat, Adar; and the twelve directors in the Soul: two hands, two feet, 



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266 SEFER YETZIRAH 

two kidneys, the spleen, the liver, the gall bladder, the hemsess* the 
kiva, and the korkeban, 

[How does one permute them? Make Hen king, bind a crown to 
it, and with it depict Aries in the Univese, Nissan in the Year, and 
the right hand in the soul h male and female. 

[Make Vav king, bind a crown to it, and with it depict Taurus 
in the Universe, lyar in the Year, and the left hand in the Soul. 

[Make Zayin king, bind a crown to it, and with it depict Gemini 
in the Universe, Si van in the Year, and the right foot in the Soul. 

[Make Chet king, bind a crown to it, and with it depict Cancer 
in the Universe, Tamuz in the Year, and the Left foot in the Soul, 

[Make Tet kin& bind a crown to it, and with it depict Leo in the 
Universe, Av in the Year and the right kidney in the soul. 

[Make Yud king, bind a crown to it, and with it depict Virgo in 
the Universe, Elul in the Year, and the left kidney in the Soul 

[Make Lamed king, bind a crown to it, and with it depict Libra 
in the Universe, Tishrei in the Year, and the liver in the Soul, 

[Make Nun king, bind a crown to it T and with it depict Scorpio 
in the Universe, Mar-cheshvan in the Year, and the spleen in the 
SouL 

[Make Samekh king, bind a crown to it, and with it depict Sagit- 
tarius in the Universe, Kislev in the Year, and the gall bladder in the 
Soul. 

[Make Eyin king, bind a crown to it, and with it depict Capricorn 
in the Universe, Tevet in the Year, and the hemsess in the Soul. 

[Make Tzadi king, bind a crown to it, and with it depict Aquarius 
in the Universe, Shevat in the Year, and the kivah in the SouL 

[Make Kuf king, bind a crown to it, and with it depict Pisces in 
the Universe, Adar in the Year, and the k&rkeban in the Soul.l 

3. Three Mothers which are three Fathers, from which emanate fire, 
breath and water. Three Mothers, seven Doubles, and Twelve 
Elementals. 

4, These are the twenty-two letters which were founded by the 
Blessed Holy One {Yah, YHVH of Hosts, God of Israel, the Living 
God, high and exalted] dwelling in eternity, whose name is Holy, 
[e&alted and hoiv is He], 



Chapter 6 



L Three are the Fathers and their offspring, seven are the planets 
and their host, and twelve are the diagonal boundaries. And the proof 
of this, true witnesses, are the Universe, the Year, and the Soul. He 



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Appendix I 267 

decreed Twelve, (Ten). Seven and Three, and He appointed them in 
{he Teli T the Cycle, and the Heart, The three are fire, water, and 
breath; fire above, water below, and breath, the decree that decides 
between them. A sign of this is that fire upholds water. 

Mem hums + Shin hisses, and Alef is the decree that decides 
between them. 

2. The Teli in the Universe is Like a king on his throne, the Cycle in 
the Year is like a king in the province, the Heart in the Soul is like 
a king in battle. 

"Also every desire, one opposite the other was made by God" 
(Ecclesiastes 7:14). Good opposite evil, good from good, evil from 
evil. Good makes evil recognizable, and evil makes good recogniza- 
ble Good makes evil recognizable, and evil makes good recognizable. 
Good is kept for the good, and evil is kept for the wicked. 

3. Three: each one stands alone. Seven are divided, three opposite 
three, with a decree deciding between them. Twelve stand in war 
three who love, three who hate, three who give life, and three who 
kill. The three who love are the heart, the ears and the mouth; the 
three who hate are the liver, the gall bladder, and the tongue. And 
God, the faithful King dominates them aJL One over three, three over 
seven, seven over twelve, and all of them are bound, one to 
another 

4. And when Abraham our father gazed, he looked, saw, delved, 
understood, engraved, carved, permuted and depicted, and he was 
successful. And the Master of all, Blessed be He, revealed Himself to 
him, and took him in His bosom, [kissed him on the head, and called 
him, "My beloved"]. He made a covenant with him between the ten 
toes of his feet— this is the covenant of circumcision-— and between 
the ten fingers of his hands— this is the covenant of the tongue- He 
bound the twenty-two letters to his tongue and revealed their founda- 
tion. He drew them in water, burned them in fire, agitated them with 
breath. He ignited them with the seven (planets), and directed them 
with the twelve constellations. 



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THE LONG VERSION 



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Appendix t 27 1 



Chapter 1 



1. With thirty-two mystical paths of Wisdom engraved Yah b YHVH 
of Hosts, God of Israel, the Living God, God Almighty, high and 
exalted t dwelling in eternity on high, and His name is Holy, and He 
created His universe with three books, with tejet, with number, and 
with communication [They are] Ten Sefirot of Nothingness and 
twenty-two foundation letters. 

2. Ten Sefirot like the number of ten fingers, five opposite five. The 
singular covenant is directly in the middle, like the circumcision of 
the tongue in the mouth, and like the circumcision of the 
membrum. 

3. Ten Sefirot of Nothingness: Ten and not nine, ten and not eleven. 
Understand with Wisdom, and probe with Understanding. Discern 
with them and probe from them. Make a thing stand on its essence, 
and make the Creator sit on His base, for He alone is the Former 
and Creator, and there is none besides Him. And His measure is ten 
and they have no end, 

4. Ten Sefirot of Nothingness: Bridle your heart from thinking, bridle 
your mouth from speaking. And if your heart runs, return to the 
place, as it is written, "And the Chayot running and returning." 
Regarding this a covenant has been made, 

5. Ten Sefirot of Nothingness: Their end is imbedded in their begin- 
ning, and their beginning in their end, like a flame bound to a burn- 
ing coal. Know, think and depict that the Master is unitary, and the 
Creator is One, and He has no second. And before One, what do you 
count? 

6. Ten Sefirot of Nothingness: Their measure is ten which have no 
end: A depth of beginning and a depth of end; a depth of good and 
a depth of evil; a depth of above and a depth of below; a depth of 
east and a depth of west, a depth of north and a depth of south. The 
unique Master, God faithful King, dominates them all from His holy 
dwelling until eternity of eternities. 

7. Ten Sefirot of Nothingness: Their vision is like the appearance of 
lightning, and their limit has no end< They speak of them as ** running 
and returning," they pursue His word Like a whirlwind, and before 
His throne they prostrate themselves. 

8. Ten Sefirot of Nothingness and twenty-two foundation letters: 
Three Mothers, seven Doubles, and twelve Elemental*, and Breath is 
in each of them. 



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272 SEFER YETZ1RAH 

9. Ten Sefirot of Nothingness: One is the Breath of the Living God, 
His throne is established from eternity, 1 blessed be the name of the 
Life of Worlds constantly, forever and ever: Voice, Breath and 
Speech. Speech is the Holy Breath {Ruach HaKodesh). Its inception 
has no beginning, and its termination has no end, 

1 0. Ten Sefirot of Nothingness: One is the Breath of the Living God, 
two is breath from breath, three is water from breaih, four is fire from 
water, and up and down, east and west, north and south. 

11. Two is breath from Breath. With them He engraved and carved 
the four direction-breaths iruchot) of heaven: east and west, north 
and south. And breath [ruach) is in each one of them. 

12. Three is water from breath. With them he engraved and carved 
chaos and void, clay and mire. He made them like a garden bed, he 
carved them like a wall, and he covered them like a ceiling, and he 
poured snow over them, and dust was made. It is thus written, "For 
to snow he said, become earth" (Job 37:6). 

Chaos is an azure 4 line that surrounds all the world. Void con- 
sists of the spongy 5 rocks that are imbedded in the abyss, from 
between which water emanates. 6 

13. Four is fire from water. With it He engraved and carved the 
Throne of Glory, Seraflm, Ophanim, holy Chayot, and ministering 
angels. And from these three He rounded His abode, as it is written, 
"He makes his angels of breaths. His ministers from flaming fire" 
(Psalms 104:4). 

14. Five; He sealed "above." He selected three letters from among 
the Elemental* and fixed them in His ^reat Name: YHV. With them 
He sealed the six directions. He faced upward and sealed it with 
YHV, 

Six: He sealed "below," faced downward, and sealed it with 
YVH. 

Seven: He sealed east, faced forward, and sealed it with VYH, 

Eight: He sealed west, faced backward, and sealed it with 
VHY. 

Nine: He sealed south, faced to His right, and sealed it with 
YVH. 

Ten: He sealed north, faced to His Left, and sealed it with 
HVY. 

These are Ten Sefirot of Nothingness: One is the Breath of the 
Living God, two is breath from Breath, three is water from breath, 
four is fire from water; above and below H east and west, north and 
south. 



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Appendix / 273 



Chapter 2 



1. Twenty-two foundation letters: three Mothers, seven Doubles, and 
twelve Elemental And all of ihern are engraved with voice, carved 
with breath h and set in the mouth in five places: the letters AChHO h 
G YKQ, DTLNTh, ZSTzRSh, BVMPh, They are bound to the tongue 
like a flame bound to a burning coal AChHO is pronounced with 
the base of the tongue and the throat. BVMPh is pronounced between 
the lips and with the lip of the tongue, GYICQ is pronounced with 
the {back) third of the tongue. DTLNTh is pronounced with the tip 
of the tongue, together with the voice. ZSTzRSh is pronounced 
between the teeth, with the tongue lying flat and spread out. 

2. Twenty-two foundation letters: They are set in the Cycle in 231 
Gates. The cycle oscillates back and forth. And a sign for this, if in 
good, there is nothing higher than delight (GNG), and if in evil there 
is nothing lower than the plague <NGO). 

3. Twenty-two foundation letters: He engraved them, carved them, 
weighed them, and transposed them, Alef with them all. And He per- 
muted them, and with them He formed the soul of all that was ever 
formed, and the soul of all that ever will be formed. 

4. How? He weighed them and transposed them, Alef with them all, 
and all of them with Alef, Bet with them all and all of them with 
Bet, [continuing] likewise with all i hi' [Letters]. And aJL of them oscil- 
late cyclically. Thus T they emerge through 231 Gates, and everything 
formed and everything said emanates from one Name, 

5. From Chaos He formed substance, and He made that which was 
not into that which is. He carved great stones out of air that cannot 
be grasped. 



Chapter 3 



1, Three Mothers, AMSh: Their foundation Is the pan of merit, the 
pan of liability, and the tongue of decree deciding between them. 

2, Three Mothers, AMSh: A great, concealed, mystical secret, covered 
with six rings. From them emanate fire, water and breath. They are 
divided as male and female. Know, think and contemplate that fire 
supports water. 

3, Three Mothers, AMSh: The progeny of the heavens is fire, the 
progeny of the air is breath, and the progeny of the earth is water. 



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Z74 SEFER YETZJRAH 

Fire is above and water is below, and breath is the decree deciding 
between them. From them were born Fathers, and from them all 
things were created, 

4. Three Mothers, AMSh, in the Universe are breath, water and fire. 
The heavens were created from fire, the earth was created from 
water, and the air from breath decides between them. 

5. Three Mothers, AMSh, in the Year are the hot, the cold T and the 
temperate. The hot was created from tire, the cold from water, and 
the temperate from breath decides between them, 

6. Three Mothers, AMSh, in the Soul are the head, the belly and the 
chest. The head was created from fire, the belly was created from 
water, and the chest from breath decides between them. 

7. Three Mothers, AMSh: He engraved them, carved them, permuted 
them, and sealed with them three Mothers, AMSh, in the Universe, 
three Mothers, AMSh, in the Year, and three Mothers, AMSh, in the 
Soul, male and female, 

8. He made the letter Alef king over breath, bound a crown to it, 
permuted one with another, and with them formed air in the Uni- 
verse, the temperate in the Year, and the chest in the Soul, male and 
female. 

He made the letter Mem king over water, bound a crown to it, 
permuted one with another, and with them formed the earth in the 
Universe, the cold in the Year, and the belly in the Soul, male and 
female. 

He made the letter Shin king over fire, bound a crown to it, per- 
muted one with another, and with them formed the heavens in the 
Universe, the hot in the Year, and the head in the Soul, male and 
female, 

9. How did He form them? AMSh AShM, MASh MShA, ShAM 
ShMA. The heaven is fine, the air is breath, and the earth is water. 
Man's head is fire, his belly is water, and his heart is breath. 

1 0. Three Mothers AMSh. With Alef He formed breath, air, the tem- 
perate, the chest, the tongue of decree between them. 

With Mem: water, earth , the cold, the belly, the pan of merit. 
With Shin: fire, heaven, the hot, the head, the pan of Liability. 
This is AMSh. 



Chapter 4 



1 . Seven Doubles, BOD KPRT: Their foundation is life, peace, wis- 
dom, wealth, seed, grace, and dominance, They function with two 



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Appendix i 275 

tongues, the doubling of opposites: B Bh, G Gh, D Dh, K Kh T P Ph, 
R Rh T TTh r A structure of soft and hard T strong and weak. 

These are the opposites: The opposite of wisdom is foolishness, 
the opposite of wealth is poverty, the opposite of seed is desolation, 
the opposite of life is death, the opposite of dominance is subjuga- 
tion, the opposite of peace is war, the opposite of grace is ugliness, 

2. Seven Doubles, BGD KPRT: Seven and not si* T seven and not 
eight. They parallel the six ribs and the six orders, and the Holy Pat- 
ace is precisely in the center. "Blessed be the glory of God from His 
Place" (Ezekiel 3:12), He is the place of the universe, and the uni- 
verse is not His place. 7 And He supports them all. 

3. Seven Doubles, BGD KPRT of foundation: He engraved them, 
carved them, permuted them, weighed them, transformed them, and 
with them He formed seven planets in the Universe, seven days in 
the Year, and seven gates in the Soul, seven and seven. 

4 T How did He permute them? Two stones build two houses, three 
stones build six houses, four stones build 24 houses, five stones build 
120 houses, six stones build 720 houses, seven stones build 5040 
houses. From there on go out and calculate that which the mouth 
cannot speak and the ear cannot hear, 

5, He made the letter Bet king over wisdom, bound a crown to it, 
permuted one with another, and with them He formed Saturn in the 
Universe, the Sabbath in the Year, and the mouth in the Soul, male 
and female. 

6, He made the letter Gimel king over wealth, bound a crown to it, 
permuted one with another, and with them He formed Jupiter in the 
Universe, Sunday in the Year, and the right eye in the Soul T male 
and female- 

7 r He made the letter Dalet king over seed, bound a crown to it, permuted 
one with another, and with them He formed Mars in the Universe, Mon- 
day in the Year, and the left eye in the Soul, male and female, 

S. He made the letter Kaf king over life, bound a crown to il T per- 
muted one with another, and with them He formed the Sun in the 
Universe, Tuesday in the Year, and the right nostril in the Soul male 
and female. 

9. He made the Letter Peh king over dominance, bound a crown to 
it, permuted one with another, and with them He formed Venus in 
the Universe, Wednesday in the Year, and the left nostril in the Soul, 
male and female. 



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2T* SEFER YETZERAH 

JO. He made the letter Resh king over peace, bound a crown to it, 
permuted one with another, and with them He formed Mercury in 
the Universe, Thursday in the Year, and the right ear in the Soul, 
mate and female. 

11 , He made the letter Tav king over grace, bound a crown to it, per- 
muted one with another, and with them He formed the Moon in the 
Universe, Friday in the Year, and the left ear in the Soul, male and 
female. 

And with them He engraved seven firmaments, seven earths, 
seven seas, seven rivers, seven deserts, seven days, seven weeks, 
seven years, seven sabbaticals, seven jubilees, and the Holy Palace. 
He therefore engraved the seventh for every desire under the 
heavens- 

12, Seven planets in the Universe are: Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Sun, 
Venus, Mercury, Moon. 

Seven days in the Year are the seven days of the week. 
Seven gates in the Soul, male and female, are the two eyes, two 
ears, two nostrils, and the mouth. 

1 3. Seven Firmaments are Vilon, Rakia, Shechakim, Zevul, Ma'on, 
Machon, and Aravoi. 

Seven earths are Adamah, level, Neshiyah, Tziyah, Chalad, 
Erelz, GaL 

And He made each one stand alone: The Universe alone, the 
Soul alone, and the Year alone. 

14. Seven Doubles BGD KPRT: 

With Bet He formed Saturn, the Sabbath, the mouth, life and 
death. 

With Gimel He formed Jupiter, Sunday, the right eye, peace and 
cviU 

With Dalet He formed Mars, Monday, the left eye, wisdom and 
foolishness. 

With Kaf He formed the Sun, Tuesday, the right nostril, wealth 
and poverty* 

With Peh He formed Venus, Wednesday, the left nostril . seed and 
desolation. 

With Resh He formed Mercury, Thursday, the right ear, grace 
and ugliness. 

With Tav He formed the Moon, Friday, the left ear, dominance 
and subjugation. 

These are BGD KPRT. 



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Appendix f 277 



Chapter 5 



1. Twelve Elementals, HV ZCh TY LN SO TzQ: Their foundation is 
sight, hearing, smell, speech, taste, coition, motion, anger, laughter, 
thought, joy, and sleep. 

2. Twelve Elemental HV ZCh TY LN SO T*Q: Their foundation is 
twelve and not eleven* twelve and not thirteen. The twelve diagonal 
boundaries peel ofTas six orders divided between each direction: ;he 
eastern upper boundary, the eastern northern boundary, the eastern 
Lower boundary; the southern upper boundary, the southern eastern 
boundary, the southern Lower boundary; the western upper boundary , 
the western southern boundary, the western lower boundary; the 
northern upper boundary, ihc northern western boundary, the north- 
ern lower boundary. They continuously spread until eternity of eter- 
nities, and it is they that are the Heights of the Universe. 

4 T Twelve Elemental HV ZCh TY LN SO TzQ: He engraved them, 
carved them, permuted them, weighed them, transposed them, and 
with them He formed twelve constellations in the Universe, twelve 
months in the Year, and twelve directors in the Soul, male and 
female. Two rejoice {OLZj, two slander {L02), two advise {YOTz}, 
two rejoice {OlTz). And they are the korkeban, the teeth, the two 
hands and the two feet. He made them Like a controversy, he 
arranged them like a war, one opposite the other. 

5. Seven: Three opposite three, and one deciding between them. 

And twelve stand in war Three allies* three enemies, three 
Hfegivers, and three killers, 

Three allies are the heart, the ears and the eyes. Three enemies 
are the liver, the gall, and the tongue. Three Hfegivers are the two 
nostrils and the spleen. Three killers are the two orifices and the 
mouth. And God faithful King dominates them all from His holy 
Dwelling until eternity of eternities. 

6. One over three, three over seven, seven over twelve. All of them 
are attached, one to the other. And a sign for this is the twenty-two 
objects and one body. 

7. And these are the twelve directors: two hands, two feet, two kid- 
neys, the Liver, the gall, the spleen, the hemsess 1 the korkeban, and 
the kivah. 

8. He made the Letter Heh king over speech, bound a crown to it, 
permuted them one with another, and with them He formed Aries in 
the Universe, Nissan in the Year, and the liver in the Soul, male and 
female. 



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27* SEFER YETZIRAH 

9. He made the letter Vav king over thought, bound a crown to it, 
permuted them one with another, and with them He formed Taurus 
in the Universe, lyar in the Year, and the gall bladder in the Soul 
male and female, 

10. He made the letter Zayin king over motion, bound a crown to it, 
permuted them one with another, and with them He formed Gemini 
in the Universe* Sivan in the Year, and the spleen in the Soul male 
and female. 

I L. He made the letter Chet king over sight, bound a crown to it, 
permuted them one with another, and with them He formed Cancer 
in the Universe, Tamuz in the Year, and the hemsess in the Soul 
male and female. 

1 2, He made the letter Tet king over hearing, bound a crown to it, 
permuted them one with another, and with them He formed Leo in 
the Universe, Av in the Year, and the right kidney in the Soul male 
and female, 

1 3, He made the letter Yud king over action, bound a crown to it, 
permuted them one with another, and with them He formed Virgo 
in the Universe, Elul in the Year, and the left kidney in the Soul, 
male and female, 

14, He made the letter Lamed king over coition, bound a crown to 
it, permuted them one with another, and with them He formed Libra 
in the Universe, Tishrei in the Year, and the korkeban in the Soul, 
male and female. 

15, He made the letter Nun king over smell, bound a crown to it, 
permuted them one with another, and with them He formed Scorpio 
in the Universe, Cheshvan in the Year, and the kivah in the Soul 
male and female, 

16, He made the letter Samekh king over sleep, bound a crown to it, 
permuted them one with another, and with them He formed Sagittar- 
ius in the Universe, Kislev in the Year, and the right hand in the 
Soul, male and female. 

I7 r He made the letter Eyin king over anger, bound a crown to it, 
permuted them one with another, and with them He formed Capri- 
corn in the Universe, Tevel in the Year, and the left hand in the Soul, 
male and female. 

18. He made the letter Tzadi king over taste, bound a crown to it, 
permuted them one with another, and with ihem He formed Aquar- 
ius in the Universe, Sheval in the Year, and the right foot in the Soul, 
male and female. 



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Appendix I 279 

19. He nude the letter Kuf king over laughter, bound a crown to it, 
permuted them one with another, and with them He formed Pisces 
in the Universe, Adar in the Year, and the left foot in the Soul, maJe 
and female, 

20. He divided the witnesses and made each one stand alone: the 
Universe alone, the Year alone, and the Soul alone* 

21. Twelve Elemental*: HV ZCh TY LN SO TzQ: 

With Heh He formed Aries, Nissan, the liver, sight and 
blindness. 

With Vav He formed Taurus, lyar, the gall, hearing and 
deafness. 

With Zayin He formed Gemini, Si van, the spleen, smell and the 
inability to smell. 

With Chet He formed Cancer, Tamuz, the hemwss, speech and 
dumbness, 

With Tet He formed Leo, Av, the right kidney, taste and 
hunger. 

With Yud He formed Virgo, Elul, the left kidney, action and 
paralysis. 

With Lamed He formed Libra, Tishrei, the korkebdn, coition and 
impotence. 

With Nun He formed Scorpio, Mar-cheshvan, the kiva, motion 
and lameness* 

With Samekh He formed Sagittarius, Kislev, the right hand, 
anger and lack of liver. 

With Eyin He formed Capricorn, Tevel, the left hand, laughter 
and the Lack of spleen. 

With Tzadi He formed Aquarius* Shevat, the right foot, thought 
and the Lack of heart. 

With Kuf He formed Pisces, Adar, the left foot, sleep and 
insomnia. 

These are the twelve Elementals, HV ZCh TY LN SO TzQ, And 
all of them are attached to the Tell, the Cycle, and the Heart, 



Chapter 6 



l. Three Mothers, AMSh; seven Doubles, BGD KPRT; twelve Ele- 
mentals, HV ZCh TY LN SO TzQ. These are the twenty-two letters 
with which formed YH YHVH of Hosts, God of Israel, the Living 
Cod, EL Shaddai, high and exalted, dwelling in eternity, and His name 
is Holy. 



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280 5EFER YETZ1RAH 

"YH VHVH"— two (divine) Names. 

"Of Hosts" ( Tzava 'oj)— Because He is a sign {ot} in His host 
{Tzava}* 

"God of Israel 11 (YSR£L}-\ prince (SaR) before God (EL). 

"The Living God* 4 — Three are called ^living": the Living God, 
Jiving watery and the tree of life. 

W EP— is harsh. 

"Shaddai"— Because (He decreed): Until here is enough (dai). 10 

"High"— Because He sits in the height of the universe, and is 
high above all the high. 

"Exalted" (Mm)— because He supports (nasa) and sustains those 
on high and below T AH that support arc on the bottom, with their 
burden below them, but He is on top T and His burden is below him. 
He supports and sustains the entire Universe. 

"He dwells in elcmny"— Because His kingdom exists for eternity 
of eternities, without interruption, 

"Hoty is His Name" — Because He is holy, His ministers are holy, 
and to Him they say, "Holy, holy, holy" (Isaiah 6:3). 

2. Twelve below, seven over them, and three over seven. From the 
three He founded His abode. And all of them hang from One and 
stand on it. And a sign of One, He has no second. : He rules alone 
in His universe, for He is One, and His name is One. 12 

3. Three Fathers and their progeny, seven siibduers and their host, 
twelve diagonal boundaries A proof of this, trusted witnesses, are the 
Universe, the Year, and the Soul. 

4. The Sefirot of the Universe are ten and twelve: fire T breath, water, 
seven planets, and twelve constellations. 

The Sefirot of the Year are ten and twelve: cold, hot, temperate, 
seven days, and twelve months. 

The Sefirot of the Soul are ten and twelve: the head, Chest, belly , 
seven gates, and twelve directors. 

5. A rule of ten, three t seven and twelve 1 and He appointed them in 
the Tell the Cycle, and the Heart. The Tcli in the universe is like a 
king on his throne, the Cycle in the Year is like a king in the province, 
and the Heart in the Soul is like a king in battle, 

6. The general rule is this: Some of these combine with others^ and 
some are the transpose of others. Some are opposite of others, and 
others are the opposite of these. If some exist, others do not, and if 
others exist, these do not. And all of them are attached to the Teli, 
the Cycle and the Heart. 

7. Also every desire, *God made one opposite the other" (Ecdesiastes 
7:14). Good opposite evil, and evil opposite good. Good from good. 



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Appendix I 281 

and evil from evil. Good discerns evil and evil discerns good. Good 
is stored away for the good, and evil is stored away for the wicked, 

ti. And when Abraham our father, of blessed memory* came, he looked, 
saw, probed, understood, engraved, carved, permuted, formed, and 
thought and he was successful The Lord of all, may His name be blessed 
for eternity, revealed Himself to him, kissed him on the head, and called 
him. "Abraham M\ friend" (Isaiah 41 ;8). He made a covenant with him 
and his seed forever. "And he believed in God, and He considered it 
righteousness" {Genesis 15;6). The Glory of God was decreed upon him, 
as it is written, "Before I formed you in the womb. I knew you" (Jeremiah 
1:5}. He made a covenant between the ten fingers of his hands, and this 
is the Holy Tongue (the Hebrew Language). He bound the twenty-two let- 
ters on his tongue, and the Blessed Holy One revealed to him their mys- 
tery. He drew them in water, ignited them with fire h agitated them with 
breath, burned them with the seven planets, and directed them with the 
twelve constellations. 

9. Heaven fire heat head. Air breath temperate chest. Earth water 
cold belly. This is AMSh. 

10, Saturn Sabbath mouth, Jupiter Sunday right eye. Mars Monday 
left eye. Sun Tuesday right nostril. Venus Wednesday left nostiL Mer- 
cury Thursday right ear. Moon Friday left ear. This is BGD KPRT. 

1 1 , And these are the twelve constellations: Aries Nissan liver sight 
blindness. Taurus lyar gall hearing deafness. Gemini Si van spleen, 
smell inability to smell. Cancer Tamuz hemsess speech dumbness. 
Leo Av right kidney taste hunger, Virgo Elul left kidney action paral- 
ysis. Libra Tishrei korkeban coition impotence, Scorpio Mar- 
cheshvan kivah motion lameness. Sagittarius Kislev right hand anger 
lack of liver, Capricorn Tevet left hand laughter Lack of spleen. 
Aquarius Shevat right fool thought lack of heart Pisces Adar left foot 
sleep insomnia. This is HV ZCh TY LN SO TzQ. 

1 2. Three enemies are the tongue, the liver, the gall. Three allies are the 
eyes, the ears, the heart Three ufegivers are the teeth, the nose, and the 
spleen. Three killers are the two lower orifices and the mourn. 

13. Three not in one's control are his eyes, his ears and his nose. 
Three good sounds to the ear are a blessing, good news, praise. Three 
bad sights to the eye are an a du I tress, and evil eye, a roving eye. 13 
Three good sights are humility, a good eye, a true eye. Three evil to 
the tongue are slander, talebearing, saying one thing with the mouth 
and another in the heart. Three good for the tongue are silence, 
watching the tongue, and true speech. 



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Appendix i 2%5 

Chapter 1 

1. With thirty-two mystical Paths of Wisdom engraved YR YHVH 
of Hosts, God of Israel, the Living God, El Shadai, high and exalted, 
dwelling in eternity and Holy is His name. He created His universe 
with three books, with script, number and telling. Ten Sefirot of 
Nothingness, twenty -t wo letters: three Basics, 14 seven Doubles, 
twelve Elementals, 

2. Ten Sefirot of Nothingness, like the number of ten fingers, five 
opposite five, with a unitary covenant directly in the middle, as the 
circumcision of the tongue and mouth. Their measure is ten which 
have no end: A depth of beginning and a depth of end T a depth of 
good and a depth of evil, a depth of above and a depth below, a depth 
east and a depth west, a depth north and a depth south. And the uni- 
tary Master, God faithful King, dominates them all from His holy 
abode, until eternity of eternities. 

3. Twenty-two letters, a foundation of three Basics, seven Doubles, 
and twelve Elemental*. 

The three Basics are AMSh. Their foundation is a pan of merit, 
a pan of liability, and the tongue of decree deciding between them. 

The seven Doubles are BGD KPRT. Their foundation is life and 
peaces wisdom and wealth, seed, grace and dominance. 

The twelve Elemental s are HVZChTYLNSOTzQ. Their founda- 
tion is sight, hearing, smell, speech, taste, coition, action and motion, 
haughtiness, laughter, thought, and sleep. 

4. Through them YH, YHVH of Hosts, God of Israel, the Living 
God, El Shadai, High and Exalted, dwelling on high and Holy is 
His name, engraved three Fathers and their progeny, seven direc- 
tors and their host, and twelve diagonal boundaries. A proof of 
this, true witnesses are the Universe, Year and Soul, a rule of ten, 
three, seven and twelve. He appointed them in iheTeli, Cycle and 
Heart. 



Chapter 2 



1. Ten Sefirot of Nothingness: ten and not nine, ten and not eleven. 
Understand with Wisdom, and be wise with Understanding. Discern 
with them, probe from them, and know, think and depict. Stand a 
thing on its essence, and make the Creator sit on His basis. And their 
measure is ten which have no end. Their vision is like an appearance 



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2W SEFER YETZIRAH 

of lightning, and their Limit has no end. His word in them "runs and 
returns,** they pursue His saying like a whirlwind, and before His 
throne they prostrate themselves, 

2, Twenty-two letters are a foundation of three Basics, seven Dou- 
bles, and twelve Elemental s. The three Basics, AMSh, are a great, 
concealed, mystical, exalted secret, from which emanates fire, 
breath and water, from which everything was created. The seven 
Doubles function with two tongues: Bei Bhei,' 5 Gimel Ghimel, 
Da lei Dhalet, Kaf Khaf, Peh Pheh, Resh Rhesh b Tav Thav. Hard 
and soft, they are strong and weak structures. They are doubles 
because they are opposite*. The opposite of life is death, the oppo- 
site of peace is evil, the opposite of wisdom is foolishness* the 
opposite of wealth is poverty, the opposite of seed is desolation, 
the opposite of grace is ugliness, the opposite of dominance is 
subjugation, 

3, Seven Doubles, BGD KPRT: Seven and not si*, seven and not 
eight. Six ribs for six orders, with the Holy Palace precisely in the 
center. Blessed by God from His place His is the place of the uni- 
verse, and the universe is not His place 

4, Twelve Elementals: Twelve and not eleven, twelve and not thir- 
teen. The twelve diagonals peel off to six orders separating between 
one direction and another: an east north boundary, an east upper 
boundary, and east lower boundary; a north west boundary, a north 
upper boundary, a north lower boundary; a west south boundary t a 
west upper boundary, a west lower boundary; a south east boundary, 
a south upper boundary, a south lower boundary, 

5, With them YH, YHVH of Hosts, God of Israel, the Living God, 
El Sbadai, High and Exalted, dwelling on high and Holy is His 
name engraved twenty-two letters and set them in the Sphere. He 
oscillated the Sphere back and forth, and the Sphere (continues 
to) oscillate back and forth. As a sign of this, there is nothing 
higher than delight {QNG) T and there is nothing more evil than 
plague [NGO). 

6, Proof of this, trustworthy witnesses, are the Universe, Year and 
Soul. The Sefirot of the Universe are ten; three are fire, breath and 
waten seven are the seven planets; twelve are the twelve constella- 
tions. The Sefirot of the Year are ten; three are the cold, the hot and 
the temperate; seven are the seven days of creation; twelve are the 
twelve lunar months. The Sefirot of the Soul are ten; three are the 
head, chest and belly; seven are the seven gates, twelve are the twelve 
directors. 



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Appendix I 217 



Chapter 3 



1. Ten Sefirot of Nothingness; Bridle your mouth from speaking; bri- 
dle your heart from thinking. And if your heart runs, return to the 
place, for it is written, "running and returning. w Regarding this a cov- 
enant was made. And their measure is ten which have no end. Their 

end is imbedded in their beginning, and their beginning in their end, 
like a flame attached to a burning coal Know, think and depict that 
the Creator is One, there is no other, and before One what do you 
count? 

2. The twenty-two Letters are a foundation of three Basics, seven Dou- 
bles, and twelve ElementaLs- The three Basics* AMSh + are fire + breath 
and water. The offspring of heaven is fire, the offspring of air is 
breath T and the offspring of earth is water Fire is above, water is 
below, and breath is the decree that decides between them. Mem 
hums. Shin hisses, and Alef is the decree deciding between them. 
AMSh is sealed with si* rings and cocooned 36 in male and female, 
Know, think and depict that fire upholds water, 

3. The seven Doubles, BGD KPRT, function with two tongues: Bei 
Btaei, Gimel GhimeU Dalet Dhalet, Kaf Khaf, Peh Pheh t Resh Rhesh, 
Tav Tnav. They are soft and hard, a structure that is strong and weak. 
They are doubled because they are opposiles. The opposite of life is 
death, the opposite of peace is evil, the opposite of wisdom is folly, 
the opposite of wealth is poverty, the opposite of seed is desolation, 
the opposite of grace is ugliness, and the opposite of dominance is 
subjugation, 

4. The twelve Elementals are HVZChTYLNSOTri^ He engraved 
them, caned them, permuted them, weighed them and transformed 
them. How did He permute them? Two stones build two houses, 
three build six houses, four build 24 houses, five build 120 houses, 
six build 720 houses, seven build 5040 houses. From there on go out 
and calculate that which the mouth cannot speak and the ear cannot 
hear. 

5. With these Yah, YHVH of Hosts, God of Israel, the Living God, 
El Shaddai, High and Exalted, dwelling in eternity on high and holy 
is His name t engraved, 

YaH: is two names 
YHVH is four names. 

Hosts: (Tzavaot) means that He is a sign (ot) in His host 
(tzava). 

Israel: He is a prince (sar) before God (EI), 



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:8S SEFER YETZ1RAH 

E) Shaddai: El is hard- Shaddai indicates that until here it is 
enough (dm). 

High: because He sits in the height of the universe, and is high 
above all the high. 

Exalted: because He upholds and sustains those on high and 
below. AH others who carry something arc on the bottom and their 
burden is above them, but He is on top, and His burden is below 
Him, He upholds and sustains the entire universe. 

Dwelling in Eternity: because His kingdom exists for eternity of 
eternities without interruption. 

And Holy is His Name: Because He is holy; his ministers are 
holy, and to Him they proclaim, "Holy, holy T holy," 

6, Proof of this, trustworthy witnesses, are the Universe, Year and 
Soul. Twelve are below, seven are above them, and three arc above 
the seven. From these three He founded His abode, and all of them 
depend on One, As a sign, this is a One that has no second. He is a 
singular King in His universe, where He is One and His name is One. 



Chapter 4 



1. Ten Sefl rot of Nothingness: One is the Breath of the Living God, 
Life of worlds, His throne is established from eternity, blessed and 
benedicted is His name, constantly, forever and ever. This is the Holy 
Breath (Ruach HaKodeshy 

2. Two: Breath from Breath. With it He engraved and carved four 
directions (breaths) of heaven: east, west, north, and south. And there 
is a breath in each one of them r 

3. The twenty-two letters are a foundation consisting of three Basics, 
seven Doubles, and twelve Elemental. The letters are carved with 
Breath, engraved with voice, and set in the mouth in five places: 
AHChO, BVMP T GYKQ. DTLNTh, ZST^RSh. AHChO is pro- 
nounced with the base of the tongue and the throat. BVMP is pro- 
nounced between the lips and with the tip of the tongue, GYKQ uti- 
lizes the first third of the tongue, DTLNTh is pronounced with half 
the tongue and the voice. ZSTzRSh is pronounced between the teeth 
with the tongue sleeping. 

4. The twenty-two letters: He engraved them, carved them, permuted 
them, weighed them T transformed them T and from them He formed 
all that was ever formed and all that would ever be formed. How did 
He permute them? Alef with them all and all of them with Alef; Bet 



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Appendix S 289 

with them all, and all of them with Bel; Gimel with them all and all 
of them with Gimel, All of them oscillate cyclically, and emerge 
through 231 Gates. As a result, everything spoken and everything 
formed emerges as one Name, 

5, He formed substance from chaos, and made that which was not 
into that which is. He carved great pillars from air that cannot be 
grasped. 

6, Three: water from breath. With it He engraved and carved chaos 
and void, clay and mire. He made them like a garden plot. He carved 
them like a wall, and He decked them like a ceiling. He poured water 
on them, and it became dust, as it is written, "For to snow He said, 
become earth" (Job 37:6). Chaos is the azure line that surrounds the 
universe. Void consists of the split stones imbedded in the abyss, 
from between which water emerges* ll is thus written, "He spread 
over it a line of Chaos and stones of Void" {Isaiah 34:1 ]). 

7. Four: fire from water With it He engraved and carved the Throne 
of Glory and all the host on high. It is thus written, "He makes His 
angels of breaths, and His ministers of flaming fire" (Psalms 
104:4). 

8. He chose three Elememals, and set them in His great name. And 
with them He sealed the six directions. 

He sealed "above,' 1 faced upward, and sealed it with YHV. 

Six: He sealed "below," faced downward, and seated it with 
YVH, 

Seven; He sealed east, faced forward, and sealed it with HVY. 

Eight: He sealed west, faced backward, and sealed it with 
HYV. 

Nine: He sealed south, faced to His right, and sealed it with 
VYH. 

Ten: He sealed north, faced to His left, and sealed it with 
VHY, 

These are the Ten Sefirot of Nothingness. One is the Breath of 
the Living God, two is breath from Breath, three is water from 
breath, four is fire from water; above and below, east and west, north 
and south. 



Chapter 5 



I . He made Alef king over breath, bound a crown to it, permuted 
one with another, and with it He formed air in the Universe, the tern- 



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290 SEFER YETZIRAH 

perate in the Year, and the chest in the Soul, mate and female* The 
male with AMSh, and the female with AShM 

2. He made Mem king over water, bound a crown to it, permuted 
one with another, and with it He formed earth in the Universe, the 
cold in the Year, and the belly in the Soul. 

3. He made Shin king over fire, bound a crown to il T permuted one 
with another, and with it He formed heaven in Universe* the hot in 
the Year, and the head in the souL 

As male and female, how did He permute them? AMSh AShM, 
MShA MASh, ShAM ShMA. Heaven is fire, air is breath, earth is 
water. Man's head is fire, his heart is breath, and his belly is water. 

4. The seven Doubles are BGD KPRT. He engraved them, carved 
them, permuted them, weighed them, and transformed them. With 
them He formed planets, days and gates. 

5. He made Bet king bound a crown to it, permuted them one with 
another, and with it He formed Saturn in the Universe, the Sabbath 
in the Year, and the mouth in the Soul. 

6. He made Gimel king, bound a crown to it, permuted them one 
with another, and with it He formed Jupiter in the Universe, Sunday 
in the Year, and the right eye in the SouL 

7. He made Dalet king, bound a crown to it, permuted them one with 
another, and with it He formed Mars in the Universe, Monday in the 
Year, and the left eye in the Soul 

8. He made Kaf king* bound a crown to it, permuted them one with 
another, and with it He formed the Sun in the Universe, Tuesday in 
the Year, and the right nostril in the SouL 

9. He made Peh ting, bound a crown to it, permuted them one with 
another, and with it He formed Venus in the Universe, Wednesday 
in the Year, and the left nostril in the Soul. 

10. He made Resh king, bound a crown to it. permuted mem one 
with another, and with it He formed the Star ofihe Sun (Mercury)-' 
in the Universe, Thursday in the Year, and the right ear in the 
Soul. 

JL He made Tav king, bound a crown to it, permuted them one with 
another, and with it He formed Moon in the Universe, Friday in the 
Year, and the left ear in the SouL 

1 2, He separated the witnesses and stood them alone, one by one: the 
Universe alone, the Year alone, and the SouL alone. 



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Appendix i 2*1 

Chapter 6 

1 . The twelve Elemental* are HVZChTYLNSOTzQ, He engraved 
them* carved them, permuted them, weighed them and transformed 
them, and with them He formed constellations, months and direc- 
tors. Two are extreme, two stabilize, two advise, and two rejoice. 
They are the karkebans 1 * the two hands, and the two feet. He made 
them like a dispute, and arranged them like a battle. "And God made 
one opposite another" (Ecclesiastes 7; 14). 

2. Three: each one is atone. Seven are divided, three against three, 
with one as. the decree deciding between them. Twelve: twelve stand 
in war, three allies, three enemies, three killers, and three lifegivers. 
All of them are attached, one to another, A sign of this is twenty-two 
objects and one body. 

3. How did He permute them? HV VH, ZCh ChZ, TY YT, LN NL, 
SO OS, TzQ QTz, 

4. He made Hen king, bound a crown to it, permuted one with 
another, and with it He formed Aries in the Universe, Nissan in the 
Year, and the liver in the Soul> 

5. He made Vav king, bound a crown to it, permuted One with 
another, and with it He formed Taurus in the Universe, lyar in the 
Year, and the gall bladder in the Soul. 

6. He made Zayin king, bound a crown to it, permuted one with 
another, and with il He formed Gemini in the Universe, Si van in the 
Year, and the spleen in the Soul. 

7. He made Chet king, bound a crown to it, permuted one with 
another, and with it He formed Cancer in the Universe h Tamuz in 
the Year, and the rnesess in the Soul. 

8. He made Tet king, bound a crown to it, permuted one with 
another, and with it He formed Leo in the Universe, Av in the Year, 
and the right kidney in the Soul. 

9. He made Yud king, bound a crown to il, permuted one with 
another, and with it He formed Virgo in the Universe, EM in the 
Year, and the Left kidney in the Soul. 

10. He made Lamed king, bound a crown to it, permuted one with 
another, and with it He formed Libra in the Universe, Tisrei in the 
Year, and the korkeban in the Soul. 



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292 SEFER VETZIRAH 

11. He made Nun king, bound a crown to it, permuted one with 
another and with it He formed Scorpio in the Universe, Cheshvan 
in the Year, and the kivah in the Soul. 

J 2, He made Samekh king, bound a crown to it, permuted one with 
another and with it He formed Sagittarius in the Universe, Kislev 
in the Year, and the right hand in the Soul 

13, He made Eyin king, bound a crown to it, permuted one with 
another, and with it He formed Capricorn in the Universe, Tevet in 
the Year, and the left hand in the Soul. 

14. He made Tzadi king, bound a crown to it, permuted one with 
another, and with it He formed Aquarius in the Universe, She vat in 
the Year, and the right foot in the Soul. 

15. He made Kuf king, bound a crown to it, permuted one with 
another, and with it He formed Pisces in the Universe, Adar in the 
Year, and the Left foot in the Soul. 

16, He separated the witnesses and stood each one alone: the Uni- 
verse alone, the Year alone, and the Soul alone. 



Chapter 7 



1. Air, temperate, chest. Earth, cold, belly. Heaven, hot, head. And 
this is AMSh. 

2. Satum + Sabbath, mouth. Jupiter, Sunday, right eye. Mars, Monday, 
left eye. Sun, Tuesday, right nostril, Venus. Wednesday, left nostril. 
Sun Star (Mercury), Thursday, right ear. Moon, Friday, left ear. And 
this is BGD KPRT. 

3. Aries. Nissan, liver Taurus, lyar. gall bladder. Gemini, Sivan, 
spleen. Cancer, Tamuz. mesess. Leo, Av, right kidney . Virgo, Elul, 
left kidney. Libra. Tishrei, korkgban. Scorpio, Mar-cheshvan, kivah. 
Sagittarius, Kislev, right hand. Capricorn, Tevet, left hand. Aquarius, 
She vat, right foot. Pisces. Adar, left foot. And these are H V Z Ch T 
Y L N S O Tz Q. 



Chapter 8 



I. With Alef He formed these: breath, air, temperate, chest, and the 
tongue of decree. With Mem He formed these; water, earth, cold, 



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Appendix* 2K 

belly, and the pan of liability. With Shin He formed these: fire, 
heaven, hot, head, and the pan of merit. 

2. With Bet He formed these: Saturn, Sabbath, mouth, life and death. 
With Gimel He formed these: Jupiter, Sunday, right eye, peace and 
evil. With Dalet He formed these: Mars, Monday, left eye, wisdom 
and foolishness. With Kaf He formed these: Sun, Tuesday , right nos* 
tril, wealth and poverty. Wlih Peh He formed these: Venus. Wednes- 
day, left nostril, seed and desolation. Wiih Resh He formed these: 
Sun Star (Mercury), Thursday, right ear, grace and ugliness. With Tav 
He formed these: Moon, Friday, left ear, dominance and 
subjugation. 

3. With Hen He formed these; Aries n Nissan, liver, sight and blind- 
ness. With Vav He formed these: Taurus, Iyar, gall bladder, hearing 
and deafness. With Zayin He formed these: Gemini, Sivan, spleen, 
smell and inability to smell. With Chet He formed these: Cancer, 
Tamuz, mesess, speech and dumbness. With Tet He formed these: 
Leo, Ay, right kidney, taste and hunger. With Yud He formed these: 
Virgo, EM, left kidney, coition and castration. With Lamed He 
formed these: Libra, Tishrei, korkeban, action and paralysis. With 
Nun He formed these: Scorpio, Cheshvan, kivah, motion and Lame- 
ness. With Samekh He formed these: Sagittarius, Kislev, right hand, 
anger and lack of liver. With Eyin He formed these: Capricorn, 
Tevet, left hand, laughter and lack of spleen. With Tzadi He formed 
these: Aquarius, Shevat, right foot, thought and lack of heart, where 
it is not. With Kuf He formed these; Pisces, Adar, left foot, sleep, 
dead and gone. 

4 h And all of them are attached to the Teli, Cycle and Heart. Teli in 
the Universe is like on a throne, Cycle in the Year is Like a king in 
the province, Heart in the body is like a king in battle. The general 
rule is this. Some permute with others, and others permute with 
these. Some are with others, and others are with these. Some are the 
opposite of others, and others are the opposite of these. Some are the 
parallel of others, and others are the parallel of these. If not some, 
then not others; and if not others, then not these. And atf of them 
are attached to the Teli, the Cycle, and the Heart. 

5, And When Abraham our father understood, formed, permuted, 
probed, thought and was successful, the Blessed Holy One revealed 
Himself to htm, declaring to him, "Before I formed you in the womb, 
I knew you, and before and emerged from the womb, t sanctified you. 
I have made you a prophet for the nations" (Jeremiah 1:5). He made 
him His friend, and made a covenent with him and his children for- 
ever and until eternity. 



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APPENDIX II 

The Thirty-TWo Paths 

of Wisdom 

The Thirty-Two Paths of Wisdom are presented as different states of 
consciousness. This presentation most probably dates from the 
Oaonic period (7th- 10th centuries), and is found in a number of 
Kabbalistic texts. 1 These states are also related to the 32 times where 
God's name appears in the first chapter of Genesis, 



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Appendix If 297 



The Thirty-Two Paths 
of Wisdom 



1 . Mystical Consciousness {Sekhel Sfufla\ This is the Light that was 
originally conceived, and it is the First Glory. 1 No creature can attain 
its excellence. 

2. Radiant Consdousness(.&Wie/ J Maz'fc/>). This is the Crown of cre- 
ation and I he radiance of the homogeneous unity that "exalts itself 
above all as the Head.'* 3 The masters of Kabbalah call it the Second 
Glory. 

3. Sanctified Consciousness {Sekhet MeKudash). This is the founda- 
tion of the Original Wisdom, and it is called "Faithful Faith*"* Its 
roo is are AMeR It is the father of faith , and from its power faith 
emerges. 

4. Settled Consciousness {Sekhet Kama). It is called this because all 
the spiritual powers emanate from it as the [most] ethereal of emana* 
tions. One emanates from the other through the power of the original 
Emanaior, may He be blessed. 3 

5 + Rooted Consciousness (Sekhel Nizhrosh). It is called this because 

it is the essence of the homage neu us Unity. It is unified in the essence 
of Understanding, which emanates from the domain of the Original 
Wisdom. 

6. Transcendental Influx Consciousness (Sekhel Shefd Nivdal). It is 
called this because through it the influx of Emanation {Atziim) 
increases itself It bestows this influx on all blessings, which unify 
themselves in its essence. 

7. Hidden Consciousness {Sekhel Xistar). It is called this because it 
is the radiance that illuminates the transcendental powers that are 
seen with the mind's eye and with the reverie of Faith, 6 

8. Perfect Consciousness (Sekhel Shalem). It is called this because it 
is the Original Arrangement. There is no root through which it can 
be pondered, except through the chambers of Greatness, which ema- 
nate from the essence of its permanence. 

9. Pure Consciousness {Sekhet Tahor). It is called this because it puri- 
fies the Sefirot, It tests the decree of their structure and the inner 
essence of their unity, making it glow. They are then unified without 
any cutoff or separation. 

1 G\ Scintillating Consciousness {Sekhel MitNotzeiz). It is called this 
because it elevates itself and sits on the throne of Understanding, It 



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293 SEFER YETZIftAH 

shines with the radiance of aJ] the luminaries, and it bestows an 
influx of increase to the Prince of the Face, 7 

11. Glaring Consciousness (Sekhel MeTzuchtzach). It is called this 
because it is the essence of the Veil which is ordered in the arrange- 
ment of the system. It indicates the relationship of the Paths {netivot) 
whereby one can stand before the Cause of Causes. 

12. Glowing Consciousness (Sekhel Bahir). It is called this because it 
is the essence of the Ophan- wheel of Greatness,* It is called the Visu^ 
alizer (Chazchazit), the place which gives rise to the vision that the 
Seers perceive in an apparition, 9 

13. Unity Directing Consciousness (Sekhel Manhig HaAchdut). It is 
called this because it is the essence of the Glory. I& It represents the 
completion of the true essence of the unified spiritual beings. 

1 4. Illuminating Consciousness (Sekhel Meir\ It is called this because 
it is the essence of the Speaking Silence (Chashmaf)? 1 It gives instruc- 
tion regarding the mysteries of the holy secrets and their structure. 

15. Stabilizing Consciousness (Sekhel Ma'amid). It is called this 
because it stabilizes the essence of creation in the "Glooms of Pur- 
ity." 13 The masters of theory said that this is the Gloom [at Sinai], 1 J 
This is the meaning of, "Gloom is its cocoon" (Job 35:9V 4 

1 6. Enduring Consciousness (Sekhel Nitzchi). II is called this because 
it is the Delight (Eden) of the Glory. As it is, there is no Glory lower 
than it. It is called the Garden of Eden, which is prepared for the 
[reward of the] saints. 

1 7. Consciousness of the Senses (Sekhel HaHergeshy This is prepared 
for the faithful saints so that they should be able to clothe themselves 
in the spirit of holiness. In the arrangement of the supernal Entities, 
it is called the Foundation of Beauty {Yesod HaTiferet), 

18. Consciousness of the House of Influx (Sekhel Bet HaShefa). By 
probing with it, a secret mystery (raz) and an allusion are transmitted 
to those who ''dwell in its shadow" 11 and bind themselves to probing 
its substance from the Cause of Causes 1 * 

19. Consciousness of the Mystery of all Spiritual Activities (Sekhel 
Sod HaPauht HaRuchniot Kulam), It is called this because of the 
influx that permeates it from the highest blessing and the supreme 
Glory- 

20. Consciousness of Will (Sekhel HaRarzon). It is called this because 
it is the structure of all that is formed. Through this state of con- 
sciousness one can know the essence of the Original Wisdom. 17 



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Appendix tl 2W 

21. Desired and Sought Consciousness {Sekhei HaChajutz 
VeHaMevukash). It is called this because it receives the divine Influx 
so as to bestow its blessing to all things that exist 

22. Faithful Consciousness (Sekhei Ne'eman). Ii is called this because 
spiritual powers are increased through ii, so that they can be close to 
all who "dwell in their shadow. *■+ 

23. Sustaining Consciousness (Sekhei Kayam), It is called this 
because it is the sustaining power for all the Sefirot 

24. Apparitive Consciousness (Sekhei Dimyoni). It is called this 
because it provides an appearance for all created apparitions, in a 
form fitting their stature, 

25. Testing Consciousness (Sekhei Nisy&nf). It is called this because 
it is the original temptation through which God tests all of His 
saints. 

26. Renewing Consciousness {Sekhei MeChudash). It is called this 
because it is the means through which the Blessed Holy One brings 
about all new things which are brought into being in His creation. 

27. Palpable Consciousness {Sekhei Murgash). It is called this because 
the consciousness of all things created under the entire upper sphere, 
as well as all their sensations, were created through it. 

28. Natural Consciousness (Sekhei Mutba). It is called this because 
the nature of all that exist under the sphere of the sun was completed 
through it. 

29. Physical Consciousness {Sekhei Mugsham). It is called this 
because it depicts the growth of everything that becomes physical 
under the system of all the spheres, 

30. General Consciousness {Sekhei Keiati). It is called this because it 
is the means through which the "genera Hzers of i he heavens" col Icci 
their rules regarding the stars and constellations, forming the theory 
that comprises their knowledge of the Ophan- wheels of (he spheres. 

31. Continuous Consciousness {Sekhet Jamw/i) h Why is it called this? 
Because it directs the path of the sun and moon according to their 
laws of nature, each one in its proper orbit. 

32. Worshiped Consciousness (Sekhei Ne'evad)* It is called this 
because it is prepared so as to destroy all who engage in ihe worship 
of the seven planets. 



Copyrighted material 



APPENDIX III 
THE GATES 



Copyrighted material 



Appendix lit 303 



The 221 Gates of Rabbi Eliezar 
Rokeach of Wormes 



The tables on pages 304^309 are presented here exactly as they 
are printed in the Przemysl edition, (IBS ), of the commentary on 
Sefer Yctzirah. In order to derive the proper arrays from these tables, 
lines containing only eleven letters must be doubled. The other lines, 
which contain Iwcniy-two letters, are left as they are. All the letters 
are then paired into groups of two. One can see how this is done by 
comparing the table for Alef with the array given in chaper 2:4. 

These are the 221 Gates that Rabbi Eliezar prescribes for use in 
creating a Golem. They can atso be used from less advanced medita- 
tive exercises, When utilizing any letter, the appropriate array must 
be used. 



Copyrighted material 



304 




Array for Alcf 


For B*l 


nPTpr^PPJO^ *0 Tlf TT 11 3H 


kji v^py fl(PPJ ob3*orm rn 13, 


v ps do jo rr jn 


jrrayjVm na 


iDjonnsunrDSgn ^p ya n-»H 


ott obou nppo n-tH-moan ra 


ppj U TO DO TIN 


V? m rr« T 13 


son? TDTI ra^tapMTV ys in 


pan vysi njd nn p*n n&b a 


Bsnv M33 pa TH 


sSwi prniru 


pai »p pi pbn -onr jt no tin 


*ri r^n pbn -m tunorr «y aa 


tit ton jm » on 


yn jw ib tt *3 


jfifts non &n tpbj yr naaoip *p* 


piptto npon on &n erSj y n sa 


m on bt pev 3et 


j tp 1* m *n S3 


Vk 


ca 


3t? op TDH pi ON 


bnn roi yi 33 


*pw33 Ttjr) Sff natan o? in 


3"irpjSpn snon mru N^pi P3 


o» iap no vn on 


*rib -Tunn j?3 


nontitf xmnSp totps 3D yet 


op ntto mm ion nSpna* r S3 


tap jd M7 ns SK 


nm *p jtiS n 


nytn asps ibon ttoti no ik 


[SBJirTtru nn jtk isjrtita p3 


iocd c: ud pst 


Tjof rrm Sj? *n 


■mo ypn no box Mtt rpjp-K 


ire] &ik -mo ypn ntrtot t3 


LTT H3Q ODp UK 


1 1 n ' b a p n ra 


u-rm thd 1 *f™ 3 °P &]f P* 1 ^ fw 


n m rno* i>oi pp»y pn wn h3 


For Gimd 


For Dalet 


3*t menpraytuata *o rrr in tj 


j3Nmn pi&p ojqS 3 1 on n m 


k vp so DC? or to 


3 m 3tp iS *n n 


nppn ^mnw arr/uw Yobo u 


se TBunns py pSoii nppo* n 


» so o n Kp w a 


m^i 3TPS m 


-H?»n nsSr 3jmot&joi ntfn to 


BTT31 «*0 TO TOVT riB^T 3pi 01 


pot «ad n&& h& 


mh 3sS urp n 


pM pbi TamMtn ttm« pass *i 


pSi Toivitnorw yo3 y» 31 


son on? ortp DJ 


r3 yn nm Vi 


pt T33 oipTOmra nan &tw Si 


an wSj yT 133 Dip^i nSn on 


w m pon»N D& 


Tpum *nSs n 


P 


on 


ON VP BP TBTT PJ 


ab r^inSn pi 


Spnsiorovnwp to 33 nr pj 


onoTf nj*t *prp33 up ibpo m 


3pTt OBI OHO w 


Stuti np 3* n 


•aauyKranuferia Tt bp *» « 


3K j B3 oy ienp nt» enrn p-r 


□ cr 13 *w m pj 


*y rrfws ru n 


navH loytpnojpa (ban n ] D *u 


O0p3. T^fin TOT! f(31fKl3p VI 


t » pw no oa w 


nS yT3 to m 


10S MM no3 affvnr *o pp n) 


no ppn jioS PTP3 noo an (fi 


rrr era aoc pp ta 


ttt^j yn n an 


im ino* -rboz pyir pTtfrw dj 


mrno T i^oi pywpnvn «3 ji 



Copyrighted material 



W5 



For Heh 


For Vav 


nv "p id yp jo Sa *p m in 

jew |» oa ao rt 

3P* pbo*I nppa TW TM3 HTT 
MpD3 Tl TOQ on 

ra^apxmppni Kiro ru -10 tt 

twi pnt ma an 

toufjiji pnsejrea iJ'J f3ip *kt 

pan PW PTPOH 

ro ran nn pSjproatnp*** rr 

sr pa V2 #w on 

d jo «3 po pr Brr 

j*pp toia Ttp iSw rone no xn 

o n w » » pn 

bpTj^&Wsenp nu no ti 

3W* rap; op fc 

>dtj «o**t ppm ojpa trsnn 

n? jox -moippn jio Sptv an 

raj ops pr st jn 

imc* itqj BVBJt prvn kii in 


m u etriFTpiflppmba* on n 

13 xntpj S» m 
inppa *mt tmj- mi wtd 1 ? oi 

3TP bm run n 
KTonno*i nnbr^pj oi fp 3i 

rip manaor bi 
iwrji pnttpoa b*j f yi pVm oi 

ib i**3 ynn n 
pwnronmsn fti pr T33 di 

*m *nSaj i pi 

*i 

prjaS rnn S) 
Disntpibir hb-to tot nap pi 

inn pa** ib ti 
on nbp i3*i*BaoptOTD nn n 

S*a nrt-np JTt 
3p»r oaps tb&n rppu nni *o 

u* jtm bpn p> 
ob prramaaB-WTrti ypn n 

rrh: jn tna it 
mx im rjywpTiPp to n m 


For Zayin 


For Chet 


n m 3k jwtpmipdj&Sjfb rtt 

TJW pBP DJ OT 

w an on* pc 3T 


Timu KTtFTp*Bppjnbj* on 

ninr*pjS*n 

namfDbtni nppn tw tbi 3n 

injrjr lao bn 

no>n Jis^Tipjo uppai «b on 

arSi ron i m 

kpdud 1 ^ an pbn toi fj tp pn 

rarh Tra pn 

rbi pn»pp*mnre nan vn 

TnSu ip l *n 

pn 

yi pT Jl TJT Tfl 

jno TTwrnx *piM3 up xS »fn 
P3*b t 1 ? iu nn 

PTKIJV \QTnSpi3* J*B 3CP WH 

j Trp rrht sn 

ovitopvi ojp3 tSuji ;?dt jn 

Spra i*i*n TO 

3jb~w tt*h jTp/1 noT 1 D*V3 nn 

*r^nf ina if 
a* tSdjdpb* prwn to i"tm m 


apjo nvpsi OToruTD^n ns tt 
tua nv do ip at 

nomc poa MfOTprn mm it 
van pa ibo m or 

^33 di pwrmrtmBrt vhi pi 

pUP3 KOI Pn BT 

r 

snp UM ara pr 

JHTV rts-m ncn n» »pioa3 it 

d Kgrcip? no xn 

^tflamrp is* rp^ey ttnp jit 
opi bdp n» Wf 

bjin rr*pu nstfttuyvi exj at 
3PJW ngj*w Jt 

*5Ppn nob wffrms jstw tt 

C3C OE)p Ff<i rr 

rttt»f?ojppwf purn «a jti u 



Copyrighted material 



KK 




For Tet 


For Yud 


rnvrmtt nwnpifWWBbj *o 


onr maw msnp Mpojob 3* 


T HI KP pD DO 30 


nna mirpj b* 


iq ipfpo p n« Tcjon rpPTD bo 


ttk -iwa map* obou npj? 0* 


nKprcriep ot3 


UTP brn jtj r 


-nffjrarmfa ru tdti rabi ap jd 


HTItSt 3J33B TFpj) K3fDn IT D' 


3JM1 tKB3 rttr DO 


ni ru* Vm p* 


2£>*i p-^Smm run win pa 


1131 pSrnoi * am orw yoi fl 1 


KQt tea p3 : no 


jyn mnbib 1 


raiprrpbip ri33 oipw n ire 


win jro noi snv bipnas di p* 


03 no id nprpo 


71*531 Ty lb ITT 


Ttt 


V 


ptt TO 10 BO VO 


TTOTP 133 bj? 


Sniet >piB33 irp jSp rana no 


piM3 TW ibff T1STO HOT 7TJ It 1 


b JSp TOP TO Itfl 


nV tuj) np j 


yitrro ntwiQTT Sjto r 1 ' 3° 


amp «no nr^f ion nSp m x> 


mcf ruKt rap jo 


P71 1(S 13 T1J1 T 


jpj ibsr tot* nootK ojref to 


on nobet upen oapj t*»r rr 


0»V ji sop n to 


jt rrm ^p 13 n 


boorta rmauriN -rno ypn i io 


oppn «sS vtvo nmiinK i r> 


jod Bf?p wnra 


'japi -ma -rflr 


■1*503 ppi™ p-w-t witUfnt) 


fsoj op** frurn tu j-m m »* 


ForKaf 


For Lamed 


tmrrrEOtf nv Tp » yo jb b3 


3»orm m a «nwipifspoj aS 


atrr jnv poo 03 


*nn3 mofp jb 


nn 3V* oba^ nppam ktb J3 


pwvira *ntt tb33 nra nr ob 


TwranmKpM 


TTT PGTJCI 31 pb 


wjo id -iptn raibi apjo -rp p3 


r3p30-nET?3t k»o ra -io»nn pb 


TO" oaa pot « D3 


vtp 'tv no ib 


TpS TTOl PJTP 00*003 0*1 3J3 


mo wjrnpTw p» &*j r^n pb 


» OK dtfd rr p3 


ib*3 pn rumb 


aot p»«jn fo no-iDmcrbiy ns 


qp Toaoi p*to Tmamon *p rb 


K0lt> nut pB*3 


aa -tp wn -p nb 


ro 


K^ 


tcro ptsn ojo *o 


rmni ip tj 3b 


itpibp ncTO neir rrj w*pip 33 


prtpio JTOwna tpp T033irp jb 


prior IW 01! 13 


Tunnpj'f ib 


p'B OOy KTID Tlti PTQlfl bp 13 


pT3i i'taxsyn nontttr icr> rtb 


m ta jmbw to 


n nmrpji tb 


yo injpa tb&fi mm nairn na 


nnrnini nqxNi ayin oip3 Tb 


opw HOOP* J 13 


rwar mnb 


iOTK Tr*oyp m*ob PTF3n rts 


PTO3H nsjpTKi t»o ypmn ob 


o on pv to m 03 


jpn romn *b 


boj pywprpn «34"m mo *3 


Q30P» pTPTl N33TT1 TTTCJ* 3b 



Copyrighted material 



*>7 



For Mem 


For Nun 


Sjt; rmm a« mnpwyp jo 
aormttv po oo 

*neriD jarratfsu Stiu np po 

BCWpPSW SO 

nrto*m sSrajWD ivyy\ n *o 
wwrrrotB po 

tiM menu jraoD 1 ! p*i j^rt td 
:ipaiM«w va 

-larttr Sipn aam pwimru no 

rmni top» aantj* iSwns to 
rrDHOsup no 

*inSpTa m'Ba p]?k nonw 10 
pjoovriMW TO 

IfKDJfV 101(33 tSfldn *OTl no 

3?pn siaS oraarma anem >o 

KljWHLltD ao 

jopw p-rpn to jTmroo So 


Sa 'ornimuie ntfTpi&y pj 

Stti -a my y) 

3 nn 3wtoSdu npyzrnwn dj 

nary Sn in »i 

orvpa lenroro tovt nsSra pi 

nasVinpn tj 

TfiotiK psas ^at pSrno* vj 

irmr*aj?o ni 

rmarmBiTOSiptTaawp hi 

Ty**m*nSai 

u 

abjTTiTt tp ni 
*ppio aartp iSpn Biiintn m 

nrgjainVi u 
noni Sp^* 1 *&30(yK npfl tj 

Trpn iS*3 m 
pa?b unrro-o naSw iaywi tai 

*rnnS3nai *3 

BTKTT 1 ajfpTO IOSm MHn 33 

Irtr-maTirf Sj 

OpDipiPJl K3 JTT1 tTfO* f? 03 


For Samekh 


For Eyiri 


io Saw*, tmaw mprp» po 

□otjtmwpp so 
Sou nppa *ntn& jannai? *o 

yjpsoo rw J?0 
>nn sSra pxrnpya wroni to 

oapotswari vo 
netpoa 0*3*31 pSma w* no 

tvanpaiMieo 
ip**u narano Tfint Sjpna 3D 

nSTpOTDKO JO 
ID 

JtO&OVOpTS JTD 
a^-irv iSon&TO HOTTU w*p 10 

«tB£»3p now to 
nriFi mnSp lajufaeij? « no 

vrrawnapj do 
nanoir may lnoipa tSsni *o 

P«nOOBP>T so 

rtr annam »rrT*Dir pniio So 

SpFWXTTCW OO 

PB* prffJUQ sm Tno*aSo 3D 


wo Ss *onn majaN nvyxvy 

3S*nnam *p 
om his :amatt soScun pp 

Smmrj*D tj* 
a wto rBT0*n JTsSrapatn vy 

mjinaiTi np 

oaa mra TpS momirnon «p 

nnairS-nrap 


i u jui |JmijfB jiu iwnpS *p 
T3fnT*rnaj ip 

TiaSrmnx ip 
iS^nsnonoofi lee ^?io aan tp 

a*riS Tun np 
it no jwjo 1 varrftp-ttv^sia op 

mSranrn *p 
VTdJpa iSs im*OTi noofifl ap 

TaTt»mn Sp 
pro 10S0 mrann aanent* op 

nna-nrvS ^* 
w prrji *on nmtraSoo op 



Copyrighted material 



.VJW 



For Peh 


For Tzadi 


3^o jato , ont i^tuk nttHpis 

0fl3Otni MP pB 

am acrobcm rtpya mr* tb 

ma- HpCJ'J sb 

sncrooo pot ks 
*aan pSmai ojmwi rtpo ss 

tJH&mVip^ IB 

nP*31 PTTMt? ip M3^ I3JTO IB 

TpDS'3«B3D rTB 

IB 

ttdjo te^wp Tn 
-ion tnrrrj M-p» iiityi^ n* 

lapammt* bb 
aop KTronri enmn Sp-ian * D 

jimon Jinmr Miajntn aapat S» 

vmopttna d& 

Ttnpa pp juitf? WV3Ttn3 # 

PP KVTOM W 

jr pirn Mnnrwna ^Sqjd pn 


Dpoja ^3 *t>nrvTTi attnwn pi 

jnS»nna mi 

D^OU JTpJf OTIK TB331T13 VI 

TT^njnm ni 
a Tvrwn ™*w3pi tm?p3i wr 

Svnpmjn 31 
31 pT mown TVntQHUD* 11 

*3pnn3ir5 H 
ana lorre- *Mjn "KMWp»K3 mr 

nrrfwripw 

t* 

11 Btp^ai TtpjiHi? nsrtan or 

iSl U7HTV3TT 

j^ssap wno nuv mvnpi 3i 
jruTppjrt Sat 

mn^jf "OK* 31 

ran na;jn «-ir*op pnreiS 01 

11 U Mil**?! pj 

Ptfji K3jntn ma^ a»p Bar 


For Kuf 


For Resh 


nspPHkj T »m CTT13K fit Tp 
Vfl*n« TM3H :rT3"l5 ^du j^? 

Mtipsotn «p 
ErrcTn Kiaro 15VT ™St jp 

Ot M3 7TVU Jp 
TT TQWJrnWTK pQQV*X f3 Tp 

3 is ok m po rtp 
mTranm sn pSxpr isac ip 

BtGO KfllD H3 tp 
TP 

TB TO! dK3» Op 
1M3 TtpiWlSTD TOI TUN *p 

Han Dtf HD 1 3p 

-m yt lyyttnvrw vTonn bp 
1Q oif rosKi op 

3i*7Bnrrt?iinD*K ap tn o Jp 
mntnttf it 3 op 

niitf? oym iruMnK Tt>a pp 
v« mr case o sp 

■wji ta iTn mo*f?auopB *p 


piDpwfirMHjnfiniuitn cn 

jtjw Vrnrp m 

MsrTHJPipSoiunppaci i *ti 

pSrrt nxj») 31 

pri nnVrap^nPifsi «toi rt 11 

jru arTrt rtp* -n 

ort7>rri prtKpapui wi pS m 

Viy >ip nna n 

33 pipwiranoi sn vbjp n 

*nS3j ip 1* m 

cn 

nn pnj a 1 * n n 
TpiSp npTDrtnmjK *pio3 dt 

unrt jYi^ 1 ^ 
nSp n3ii*fi japiefionaj vt tn 

tv rtfrra n n 
xnaatK uprrrojpa t*»n ?n m 

31*11 mn S jn 
en pbpjmwibS wwarma- 1 sn 

7U Tuirbj p n 
»n tcji.nnm* fw ppw jn 



Copyrighted material 



M iy 



For Shin 


For Tav 


TptapoioSacormrmact jw 
xo l Kfli npPO met -idehtiti atr 

BO t7TtK pM r SP 
yiT\ DT1K Jtt3QB t 13f3TtpSl TO IP 

anpi«;*Dtp 
Sapt T3M> pm nto rai d tip 

3K0K? HGtpW 

oprM oifl « ye 

ip hoc JDp rr op 
-ion n*?p T3t j*D30p«nont m 

nn JJK TJ3p let w 
tojp3 fan msTsnoree d pp 

jo op ttn 00 rr 
nns &"wt tfo pj?notr?o ip 

*tt It 030 OB pV 

jv*a rm ma^oa cpBJp tp 


PTpnpciHrra'onnrrm Bin 
irpj Vmnan 

ppamet tbc imp* oVm m 
irn 3T? Sn m 

uSt apanwi ttfora to* nn 

oriK poa B*Mf3ipS?nai pj m 
jnb "nri p rtn 

aranv Siynwoi p*«j ns on 
Saj -ip 1* rrr *n 

*Tfw >jru a Sn 
0* aa« ^pwuTpabpra t on 

tw xen n*?pT3n t ? t »30Ptt n on 
fan ru tt jrn 

n*g-nw3Wiciy vn ojpa t4 wi 
tttS pnoi *j yn 

JtOnJ OYPa nroisTK tpq ppn 
aim^ jnr in 

ia»TnmnB* "fwai opsr pi vn 



The 231 Gates According 
to the Later Kabbalists 



These tables appear in Emek HaMeiekh (Amsterdam, 1563), 
pages 4 to 6. 

According to the later Kabbalists, they can be used for creating 
a Golem and for similar meditations, 



Copyrighted material 



m 



AJef Panzuf of Keter 


Bet: Partzuf of Chakhmah 


1 J1P ip f fl PO JO S3 T3 FIT 11 11 3K 

t 3n pi pi tf 01 oS 7 on 11 m jk 

1 13. JTP Ip fS pO JO S3 *0 FTTH IK 

n ni ar pi pi tp oj dS 7 &* ti net 

* m 13 np ip rD yp p S3 *o nr w 

1 in ii 3Ji 171 p* qp dj dS 7 cm tk 

* H 11 13 J1P T> f S pO JO S3 t) IK 

1 mini 3P pi pi ip 03 aS 7 ok 
a on n n 13 np ip fB po p S3 >K 

* »d m ti an pi pi tsi dj oS ]« 
rr> T on n m a to p p lie |a Sit 

* S3 »o nt m> 3n pi pi *|y pj ok 
1 oS 7 on n m ia np ip pa yo jk 
i p S3 t D nr in u 3Ji n pi ip ok 
n pi aS 7 on ti m 13 np ip pa yet 

* pp p S3 *o nr in -n aji pi pi rp 
1 TP PJ aS 7 on n m 13 rtp ip fK 
h f & yo jo S3 ts nr n u an pi pK 
1 pi Ty pj aS 7 on n m as np x 
n ip f b pp p S3 t: nr ii H 3Ji fk 

* pi pv ny pj oS 3* on n m 13 rw 


1 «n Pi pi *|y pj oS t on n m J3 

1 jk tip ip f d yp jo S3 u nf n 13 
l 11 Kn pi pY ip pj aS 7 on n 13 
l 11 l« np ip fB yo ia Sa *o nria 
t imxyi pi pi bp 03 oS 7 on ra 
1 Tl m jk np "^ fB po jo S3 ti 13 

* m irt u icn Pi pi sy pj oS 7 oa 
1 tan n n w np ip ^ yp p Sa ta 
rr *o nt m u kti pi pi iy pj oS ns 

* 7 on n m ik ftp ip f b yp p Ss 
n>Sa to nt tn u Kn pi pi ip 03 0'2 

aS 7 on n m at np ip f » yo p 
t p Sa to nt in ia «n pi pi ip 03 
1 oj aS 7 on n n jk np t? f b pa 
i yp p S3 t rn in -u wn pi pi »p 
1 Ty pj oS 7 on n n jk np ip f 3 
1 f B yp p S3 ^o nr n u jen pi ps 
k pi *\y pj oS 7 on n n ik np ia 
1 ip r» yp p S3 *o mil 11 »tn F3 
1 pipiBypjoSa^onnnaKna 
t np ip fB yp p Sa tn nr in 11 «a 


GimeL Partzuf of Binah 


DaJei] Partzuf of Daal 


* 3k np ip pa jrtt p Sa >o m m ii 

i 13 kti n pi tP oj aS 3^ on n m 

1 n 3N HP ip fB PO p S3 *D IT XI 

rr mi *ti pi pi *p pj oS 3* on n 

* n m 3H HP ip fB po jo S3 '0 13 

i rrr in ia «n pi pi *jy pj oS 3 1 01 

* on ti m 3« jtp ip r& yo 10 S3 1 
l is m ma «n pi pi vp m aS -p 
n 3* on n n a« np ip pa po p Si 

* Sa *o nt m ii «n pi pi ip o> 01 
rr oS a 1 on n n 3« np ip fo yo Jl 
t p S3 h o nr v\ 13 wn pi pi *p pj 
1 pj oS 3* on n m 3W np ip fB JW 
1 po 3a Sa tp Hi trr ia «n pi pi *u 
1 *ry 01 oS 7 on n m aw np ip fi 

t fB pD p S3 *D m H 13 KTI PI [>JB 

1 pi *tt? pi oS 7 on n m 3k np u 
k ip pp yp jo S3 to nr m -rj kti pj 
1 pi pi *tp oj aS a* on n ni 3k ju 
1 np ip r& yo p S3 t nt ui ia kj 

* senpipy*(ywaST>onnm3j 


* sa «n pi pi ny pj oS a* on n m 
1 i) 3K np ip ffl po p S3 >o nt in 
i rr 13 Kn pi pi ^y pj oS 3* on n 
1 n 11 3*t np ip fB yp p S3 to m 

* nt m 13 kji Pi pi tp pj oS 3* oi 
1 art n m 3« np ip f b pp p Sa 1 

* tonriimtnFipi'TPOJoST 1 
1 7annni3KnPTpfBpo[nbi 
1 Sa to m n ia r*n pi pi ip 01 ai 

* aSatonnni3KJip-^fBpop 
rr p S3 'p m m 13 stn pi pi Dp cn 

* pj oS 7 on n u 3« np ip ib pi 
1 po p S3 i? nr n 13 wn pi pi T 1 

1 ipP3oSattmnii3KnPVP 
1 ib yo p Sa to nt ia ia itn pi pi 

* pi IP 03 aS at on n ni 3k np n 
1 ip f b po p Sa ^0 nt ur 13 *tn pi 
k pi pi TP oj oS at on ii m 3« rn 
1 np y? tb po id S3 hj nt n ia «i 
1 etn pi pi sp 03 oS at on n 11 31 
1 3k np ip f b yc p Sa t) ni m n 



Copyrighted material 





Mi 


Hch:Panzuf ofCtirad 


Vav: Partzuf of Ccvurah 


* u 3N np ip >/b pp p "33 to m m 
i naitnenpjfTpojob-PtmT! 
i nTL34trnPTprnpopb3>onn 
i nrnaBtnnpYTppjnSytsi 

* on mi aw up Tp ps pp p S3 *n 
i to m n a wn pi pi »p pi ab -|n 
> 7 on n "o 3K np t? f b pp p bn 
i S3 to nr n 13 «n n py *p pj on 
i ch 3* on mi 3k rip Tp f & pp p 
1 p S3 TO m n a kp pt pi ip on 
rr pj ob 3 T on n -q 3« nv np pc yn 
1 po p Si to nr rr a tin Pi pi in 
1 *TpDiaS7pnTiTi3MjnFT?fn 
i r»ptJpb3TOTtiriaKnpTpn 
n p* fjp oi nS 7 on n *ii nt in 

* np ps po p S3 to nr rr a ttn en 
i mprTppjab7onnTi3«JTn 

* np np )>b pp p b3 to m rr a mi 
1 tenmpi*|poiuS7pnrni3n 
n 3N np y> pB PP P *» *o nr n 11 

* aHnenp*iptwoS7ennnn 


» rnaNnnpiTpo]DS7onTi 

1 TlH3MJWTp^BpDpb3TOni 

i nrmapcnpipiTPOJoSyoi 
n on rni 3* np Tp r» po p S3 *i 

* to m rrr a tci en pi bp 01 ab ti 
1 7ontrr-U3K7ip-v?fBpppS) 

* S3 to m m a «n pi pi sp pj m 
1 oS 7 sn ?n -a 3** jtp -p ps po ji 
n p S3 TO nt m a «n pn pi ip 01 

* 03 ob 3* on trr tj 3*t np -p f D P 
n^ppiaS3TOrrrnia«nenp3f*]i 

* up ti ob 3* on in m 3k nP Tp fr 
1 jrp pp jo S3 to m m a sen pn p> 
i pi Bp pj ob 3* on n tj. 3*e np ti 
n TpfflpppSaTanTrnaitnPi 
s pn pi tp dj aS 3* on mi 3tt m 
t rrp^rflyoioSsTOmi-raKi 

DC (tn PI pi TP 01 aS 3> OH tHD 31 

1 3k fip Tp f p pp p S3 TO nr m tf 
1 a *tn en pi ip 01 ob 3* on tn n 
1 -Q 3m np Tp fit pp p S3 to nr m 


Zayiti: Partzuf of Tiferel 


Chet: Partzuf of Netzach 


* 11 n 3* rw Tp r* PO p b3 to nr 
i mniafernnpJTpp]£iSyDf 
n on m ti 3K np np r» FP P Sj n 
rr to m m a «n pi ps up w ab *p 

* T on tt tj 3« nr T f B pp p Sr 
1 S3- to m rn u ten pn ps *pr dj ar 

* nS 3* un inn 3k jip np pa pp ft 
1 p bg to m m a wn pi pr tp or 
?t o) oS 7 on imi 3« np -p f b pr 

* p^3Db3TOmrnaMnBnpsit 
rr tp pj oS 3* on rr-u d« np Tp f : 

* pB pp p S3 to rn m a ten *n pr 
1 pi tp 01 ab 3* on rt ti 3k rve ft 
1 ^r»ppioS3TOmrnattn(?t 
n p-ij-?3fTppjQS7onmi3«JTt 

* nr Tp p po P S3 to m rrr a ter 
1 «n pi pi qp oj aS 3* on vm at 
k 3«nPTprBpo3oS3TOTi>n-[jr 
1 a«ntnp3f*ipDiob7onrrTT 
n -u dm np Tp p po p S3 to m it 
1 Ttaetnp*ip)fB?PJaSyofTn 


* nmuKJip-ipTTPPjab7on 

1 DirtT13«JTPTpTBP0pb3*n 

i TOnmaetnenpiTppjoSTi 
1 7t3tmi3KnpTpfSipt?t°Sti 

* Ss to n tt a «n en pi ip 03 on 
i aS3epnTn-a3«nPTprppp]n 
1 pSiTOmmaKnprpxTppn 
i p:aS7t3fTm3jtnPT5p)m 
n po p S3 to rn m a **n pi pi 71 

* TJ?0JDS7DnnTi3Kni?Tp^n 
rp j/b pp p S3 to n ttt a ten en pn 

* pi TP oi dS 7 oMn -n 3H np m 
1 np ft po fo S3 to n m a wn pn 
i anpiTPOiabjorn-nsHnn 
n npTpfBpopb3TOtimuiffl 

* ttnPnpiTPPjoSywimisn 
1 3KnPTpiflpopb3TOtirnan 
w a ten en pi Bp pi ab 3* on nm 
1 ii3«nP"ipi r »!" J ToS3TOnnn 
rr rnnnnen pi ip 01 ab7or^i 

* Tnn3«rrPTprBpopb3TOm 



Copyrighted material 



Ml 



Tel: Partzuf of Hod 


Yud: Partzuf of Yesod 


* m rr u aw nt ip p& pp p ba *o 

i "rt n :rt la kit tn p* ip uj ok "|o 

1 7HtlCT-T)3ttn»TpP B P i a b B 

n ba *n n m a «n an pa ip m ao 

* nb -|* m in ti 3K jtf t? f ft po jo 

i p ba m n ?n a «n m pat *p wa 

* pj ab 7 m rr tj aw mtr Tp ffl po 

i po jo ba *n n rrr a itn «n px tq 

n ippjabxmrr-uaKnPTp^ 

* f& po p ba *n n m a «n tn po 
rr* p*Tppiob7rmnTi3«JTO~c 

* ip pB pp p ba >n n m a etn to 
i m px tp pj ob 7 nr in n ok no 
i ntTprPpppban*nrrrai*a 
rr KTi»*ipy*|ppjrib7mCTTJ3o 

i a etn ti px tp pj ob 7 nt mo 

h ti as nt Tp f ft pp |d ba *n n no 
1 in-Q3«ntrTpTBpoiba>rmo 
n in ti a« nt Tp fa pfc p ba »n to 

* n m a Btri n pr tp pj ob 7 no 


* ortnmaKnr-ipxipwob7 
l 73 nnn "u as np Tp f si pp p b* 

i ba on n rn a hti tn p* tv w s* 
n ob 73 nr n is ax jto lp pa po f 
1 pbapnnmaantipJTPo* 
i w eb 73 rmn -a aw nt Tp f & p> 

* pppSaonn;rraitncnpxB* 
1 TpojobTsrmn-naKnnpf* 
n rflpopbaBnn:rra*nmp 

* pxTPOJobTJrmniiaKntT 
;t Tp p» pp p ba on n m a «n r* 

* BnpjipoiaSTsrmaTiaHJT 
i ntTpfftpppbaonnmatP 
1 *tn *n px *jp Pi ob 71 nt vm a* 
n sk nt -p pft po p ba on n m i> 

* iannrnpx*ippjpb7)mm> 
t -u aw nt np pB pp jo ba on n n* 
k n*ianninpxTPDJob73nTP 
1 miaKnVTp^POlobaonr 
n nmia*tntnpTTppjDb73n* 

* mrmwnwTpi'SJrctebaaft 


Kaf: Partzuf of Malkhut 


Lamed: Back of Keter 


* *a nt w ti 3k nr np pa po p ba 
l b* on n m a «n ti px tp pj 03 
n pb tj nr mi ok nt ip fft pp p 

n p S* on n ti a an tn px *|p m 
1 pi pb j p m rr -u 3H nt "p ?B P3 

i pp jc V on n Tt la «n tn pi *p 

* TP pj ab *o nt vt t) att nv v P 
"i pp pp p b> on n m a stn en pa 
n px *\p pj ob »o nr mi aee nt 13 

» ip pp pp p b> on n rrr a «n ta 
rv *znpYTPPjpb , pnTmi3Kro 

l KnvnpXTPPJab»onrn-iia3 

-i a«m?Tpf&ppJiob'PnnTtia 
rr a »tn vn px ^y pj ab »o nt ma 
t -liaKntTppftpppb^onnna 

* m J3 nrun p* ip m ab *o n? is 
K mTtawrvTppBpopaVonTa 
i n m a Kn ti pi TP to ob *o na 
rr rtrriTia«rwTprBpojab*taa 
> on n m a ttn on px tp pj ob >a 


1 7tinTimaKntnpirTFPanb 
1 03*onTimi3eenPTpfBpp|b 
i p7pnnmaKnFipxTPPb 
a oiaa*omimia«nPTpj*Bpb 
St pp p 7 on n m a wn ti px ^b 
1 ipwaa'ommiaKnpTprb 
« rflpcp7onnrrraKntcnpb 
1 r^ tp pj 03 *o nt mi aw nt ib 
n ip fB pp p 7 on n nr a «n tb 

« *npxTppja3*onnnTi3*tnb 
m nt np rB pp to 7 on n m a «b 
* an vr px v « aa *o nr n u ab 
1 a*e nt Tp p» pp p 7 on n m jb 
i a«ntnp3f*poina'ontmb 
n n an nt ip f b pp p 7 on n nb 
n m a ten ti px tp pj oa tp nr 1b 
1 mi 3K nt Tp f s pp p 7 an ?b 
1 n m a *tn m px tp oj aa >o nb 
n nt n n jk nt ip p& pp p 7 ob 
rr on n m 1a an t-i px *|p op oa ^ 
>o nr n u aw nt ip fs po p ib 



Copyrighted material 



JI.1 



Mem: Back of Chakhmah 


Nun: Back of Bmah 


* Sa »o m vi ix a« np y> pa yo p 
i jS 7 on n m a «n pi pi tp oa 
i pj Sa *o nt rt u art np -^ f & pa 
rr yp jS 7 on ti m 33 wn pi pi >p 
at tp dj Sa *o nr vm a« jip Tp f a 
1 f b yp |S t on n m a ten en po 
k py *jy oj Sa ti nr n n as jtp -ia 
i np f s po fS 7 on n rrr a ten pa 
n tnp^^p wSa^ortTTi-tiaxriD 
at 7iPT?r»3?P|S7onTimi3KO 
mKnp-ips^pjSa'onTiiTaaa 

* a« jip ip ps yp fS 7 on ti m jo 
i i3Knp-ipTTppjSj*ontr[-io 
i n 3K JiP "V? fB yp j 1 * 7 on n no 

n mi3HimpT*u?pgS3Tjn?To 
i mi a* jip ip ri> Jro jS 7 on to 
i n m u «n m pr t? pj Sa *o no 
i nr mi aw jtv np f b yp |S 7 oo 
i an n m u **n pi p» ip pi S3 *o 
a *onttnni3Mnp-prBpp|S-[a 
7 on n m ia kti pi pi tf dj Sn 


* aS7onnrniaienpnp**[yo3 
1 on Sa *o nr n -a an jto "p p u pj 
t PDaSxonnmiaKnpipirtu 
tt TppaSa^nrinTjaNnp-p^ 
*t fflpooS7Dnnmia«fip-ipj 
1 piPoS3*onrnTJ3KnPT3 
tt TprBPPaS7onTirnjawipj 

t pi pjr ip po S3 "0 nr n -u 3w ru 
rr np-Vf&ppaSxonnTnuKj 
m KTienpt i ipMSa'ortTvitiaj 
?n aKnPTprspooS7onn:rrjj 

* a etn pi pi *p co Sa « nr mi 
1 TtaNnpTppBpeoSTontinj 
i i-ra*tnpip»ippoSatoniu 
n ui-uswnp-pfBppoSxontj 
n nrnaKnpipiTpcoSa'oni 
1 nrnTiaanp-prBpooSTOJ 
1 on n m 13 wi pi p» tp po Sa 'i 
n *o nt mi act rtp ip r» yp aS ^i 
n 7 on n ti a «n pi pi ip po Si 

Sa'onniTtaK/TPTppBypaj 


Samekh: Back of D&at 


Eyin: Back of Chwed 


1 fo Sa *P nr in -a 3K np lp pa pp 
> yj aS y on n rn a itn tn pi *to 
1 TVIoS3*DnrnT33MnPTpfO 
1 rBp]oS-ponTi7na*tfip-ipp 
« pi TP p S3 >o m n n 3« np tp 
i ip fB pi dS 7 on n m a *cji pp 
k tn pi ip p S3 ►o nr nil act no 
1 np ip fs pj aS 7 on ri rn ia ko 
i tfji pi pit tp p Sa *o m a tj ac 
n 3K np Tp ^b yj aS 7 on n n jp 
m ia kti p*i pi *p jo S3 *o rrr m no 
* TJ3«nPT7rBp]nS7E3ntirrp 
1 m a an n p» *|p p Sa 'o nrio 
1 mj3*fnp-^fBpjaS7onfD 
n n m ia ten pi pi »p jo Ss *o np 
n nrn-U3MnpiprBp3!3ST0P 
1 onnma«nvip5fTP)i]Sa'p 
1 »on?ini3KnPTprsyjaS-|p 
n 7 on n m a «n en pi *|p p So 
n Sa io rrr n tj a« nr ^? pa pj od 
aS 7 on n na **p pi p* tp |P 


■ pjoS7onnrrraitnp-ip3f , of 
1 qp p Sa *a m in n aw np ip IT 
i f&pjoS^ontimiaKntnpp 
71 pyTDjaSa^onrri-QaMnpTy 
et Tp r» ci aS 7 on n m a «n pp 
1 pi pi to p Sa *o nt vm a« np 
*t nPTp^PioS7onnmi3Kp 
1 «n pi pi *[& fo Sa *o mm -a ay 
n aKnp'pfBOjbSxonnnip 
« a«np^pi , p|nSa'Onm-ip 
m -a a*t np ip fB pj oS a* on n ny 
• m a kti pi pi bp p Sa ^ nr ip 

1 H-113KJTPTp|Tlp3 0S70ntp 

1 nn-iaKnr-tpt*pio Sa'enp 
1 mrr-uaetn(PTpfBPJoS7ap 
1 on ti m a «n «n pi "p p Sa *p 
1 'O nr in ti 3W np np fB pj ob tp 
1 7 on n n*t 13 ttn pi pi tp p Sp 
tt Sa *o nt vt -u an mr ip f a oj op 
n aSa^onnmiaiMiPipiTPTp 
p Sa 'o mm tj a* np ip p» op 



Copyrighted material 



M4 



Peh: BackofGevurah 


Tzadi: Back of Tiferet 


* pp \a bj *o nt inj 3« nv Tp f & 
i fv PJ ob 7 cm ti m u ten pt ps 
n p» pp p bj us nni ii j» ne tb 
i Tp pp pj pb 7 an n m 13 ten PB 
h tn p* pp p bi *a nt in ti 3k jib 
i nKfT?fpp3ab7annmi3«B 
t* «n an p* pc p bj *a nt mi n& 
l D«np _ ^r , ppj!3b7BniimiB 
n ia «n rr p* po ja bj »e nt m* 
k t) dw jkp "p fp pj ob y an ti n» 
m m 13 ten m py pp p ba *a nr id 
> mi act /up ip pp pj ab 7 an tb 
t n m 13 tui m py pp jo bj tj nB 
i ntmi3Knp-pM?wobT0B 
n an t> m n ten m pi pa p ba *b 
n *a nr n ti a« m? Tp pp oi ab ib 
t 7 an n rrr ia ten tn py po p bB 
i ba *b nt vtts art nw Tp py w as 
n ab7annTriaitnBnpjfpP|& 
n p b3 ^ rrnn -n 3« np Tp p? PB 
pi ab 7 on n m 13 ten icn pr pi> 


* TP pj ob y am ti m a tun rr pi 

1 p& pp p ba *b nr in u a« jtw t» 
t TpipPiDb7oniiTija*tnvat 
n lsnppypTobstonrmTJwnat 
te nPTpTPojobTonnrniamr 

1 ten m pB po p ba ti nr n ti 3* 
m 3« nr Tp np 01 ob 7 an ti m 11 
1 13 ten m ps pp p ba 13 nt in -nt 

rr TJ3KntTp*jptMab7ann;ii 
te rn a ten en p» pp p ba *a rmar 
m in -n 3*e n» Tp TP pj ob 7 on ty 

* n m 13 ten m pa pc p ba *a nr 
1 nni ti ae nv Tp *ip pj ob 7 a» 

T DTin7ni3WnVTp*PP|0b3Tf 

n 'pnTUTTisNnFTpTPPjbb-pf 

rr 7 an n nr 13 kjt n p& pp jo br 
1 b3 'a nt in ti 3« tvp Tp tp pj ax 
1 ab7Bnnmi3ttn»TpBpPTi 

rr tob3*anTfflTi3«n^TpT7u* 

n sot)b7HnTimapen(npBpat 

pp p bi *& nr m n a« nv Tp h* 


Kuf: Back of Netzach 


Resh: Back of Hod 


* rBpaiaSa'pnttmiaKna-Tp 
) TrTPPJobyonnmuKPrp 
i ft pa pa p b3 •q nr n ti 3« np 

n ncfyT0fwab7anri!rri3Kp 
et etn *n ps pp p ba +a nt ur tji ap 
i at jw it tp pj ab 7 an n rrr ip 
k 13 ten m po pp p ba >p m m Tp 
t TjawrmnyTpoiab^onnTip 
n miaKntnpapopba^ru^ 
« tiij 3K nv ty ip w aS 7 on ip 
m n m jia «n vr po po p ba *e np 
■ muT-u3MnrT7TPPJob7op 
1 an n nr 13 Mn ft pa pp p ba *p 
1 *BrmnTi3«nttT**[pajDb-|p 
1 7 on n m sa kh en pa po fa Sp 
1 ba *a m m -n 3« nr t» ip P3 op 
1 ob 7 an Ti m ia kji ft fjj po ip 
i pba^ntimiaecnpnarTppp 
,t pj ab 7 an n m 13 ten m ru pp 
n pe p Sa *d nt mi ate ntr mr "p 
TPPjab7HnnnmKriBnpp 


1 pt TP pj ab 7 an n m 1a «n in 
1 ppfBpp|ab3*onTVT-u3wm 
t nppTTVPJab7onnmi3Bn 
n «rr trp fH pp p ba *a nr m ti 31 
te a*t nt p» *p w ab 7 an n m n 
1 a «n vp fa pp p ba *o nr m n 
te ti 3*e nr pr tp pj ob 7 on n m 
1 mi3KnipprBpajob3 , pntn 
rr in is aa nr p* tp dj ab 7 an n 
te n m 13 ten pp p» pp p ba +o m 
mmiCTTi3Nnvp*Tpojab7tti 
> onnTTUrtnppfBpoiabj-n 
1 >o nt ur ti jtt rnp px ip P3 ab p 
t 7 pn n m 13 wn pp r£ pa p bn 
rr ba *a nt n *ii ate mr p* «tp t?i pit 
n ab7»nnTiartnvpfBppp 
1 p ba >p nr m "n 3M nr px TP P" 1 
1 ttabjmtirnuKnwprfljn 
n pp p ba >o m m tj ate np pi ip 
n ip o) nV t on n m a Mil rp n 
f & pp p Sj ni nr mi ate nc pr 



Copyrighted material 



m 



Shin: Back of Yesod 


Tav: Back of Malkhut 


♦ *Tp fti Vt? fp ba t) TIT H 11 3X JTP 

1 mp3fTPDJoS7pnnrni3Kp 
i «n np f d po |a Sd *d rn rr "a dp 
rr 3« m pi "ip pi ob 7 on n m jp 
te J3 wn T? f » yp to ba *o nr rr tp 
i T) aw m pi tf pj ob 7 on n ip 
k rn 13 Kn "ip r$ yp p ba *p nr ip 
1 *n -u 3n m pi tp w ob 7 on tp 
rr ti m la ten -ip f s yp p ba *p np 
k nr m -u 3« m pjr iy 01 pb 7 dp 
m on n ti 13 ten ip f* yp to ba *fr 

* »p rrr li ni 3« rn pi ij? p] ob -[p 
1 -ponnTrjaNnTprape|abp 
n baiorrrin-usMmpiTPDjap 
n ab y on n m 13 wn Tp f 9 pp pp 
rr |a b3 'p m mi 3k rn pt tit up 
1 oi ab 7 on n rrr 13 *tn -p fa yur 
i yp jp ba *p nt n ~ii ate rn pi *^p 
rr *0r « ab 7 on n m 13 mji -p tip 
n fB pp tb ba *d nt vni aw m pi? 

pi "p pi ob 7 on ti m la *tmp 


* pi pi *[y pj pb 7 on n m 1a «n 
1 kp Tp rt> yo ja ba **) m mi an 
i iKP-ipr^yDinbycmTinui 
1 13 kp 7? fa yp |a ba *o nt mn 
m -u ate pi pi "p pj ob 7 on n in 
1 m » w ip t/d pp p ba *h nr m 
« 11 ni as pi pi ^y pj ob 7 on Tn 
1 n tt 13 mp -p r* yo fa ba 'P tin 
1 m inn a« p-i pi *p oj ab 7 on 
m pn ti m 13 kp *ip y a yp ja ba vi 
n *o m tT is a« pi pi qy pj nb "|rT 

* 7 on n m u wp ip f b pp jo bn 
1 ba *o nt mi a« vn pi tp u an 
1 ob 7 on n rn ia kp np ?g pp jn 
1 pi Ss *b m er ti » «n p» fp m 
1 oj ab 7 pi n m a mp "p f e pn 
1 po jd ba >o m in m 3m pi pi in 
1 Typjob-ponnnuttp-ppn 
1 rfiyojpba'pnTTi-naKpnpr 
n pi hf oi ab 7 pn n rn 13 kp in 

ip pa po fa ba nr h -a a« pn 



Copyrighted material 



APPENDIX IV 

EDITIONS AND 

COMMENTARIES 



Copyrighted material 



Appendix IV 319 



Printed Editions 

Mantua 1562, 4* 108 ff. First Edition. Includes commentaries of 
Raavad, Ramban B, Moshe Botril, Saadia B, Eliezer of 
Wormes B. Major text is the Short Version, but also includes 
the Long Version as an appendix {ff. 102-108). Published by 
Yaakov beri NaftaLi Gazolo, 

Lemberg, 1680. Contains six versions of the text, 1 

Amsterdam, 1713, 12' 4%ff. Also includes the Zoharic Sifra 
DeTzeniuta and parts of the Talmudic tract of Tamid. With 
introduction by R. Moshe (ben Yaakov) Hagjz, z 

Constantinople, 1719, 8* 28 ff. Includes abridged commentaries of 
Raavad, Ramban B + and the Ari Published by Yonab ben 
Yaakov and Yeshiah Ashkenazi, 

Constantinople, 1724, 4°. Same as 1719 edition. 

Zolkiev, 1745, 4*. Contains all commentaries in Mantua edition, as 
well as that of the Ari. Also contains Long Version. 

Koretz, 1779, 4* 36 ff. Includes commentary Otzar HaShem y attrib- 
uted to R. Moshe ben Yiizchak of Kiev {q.vj. 

Grodno, 1797, 8*. Includes commentary Pri Yitxchak, by R, Yitzchak 
Isaac ben Yekutiel of Mohelov <q.v.) L 

Grodno, 1806, 4" 86 ff. With vocalized text and all commentaries in 
Mantua edition. Also includes commentary of Art and R, 
Eliahu Gaon pf Vilna (Gra}. Edited by Menachem Mendel of 
Skiav. 

Dyhrenfurth, 1812. 3 

Vilna-Grodno 1820, 4*. Contains all commentaries as in Mantua edi- 
tion, as weft as that of Gra. 

Salonica, 1831." 

Cracow, 18—. J 

Prague, no date, 4* r Contains commentaries as in Mantua edition, 

Lvov, i860, 4" \7&ff Contains commentaries as in Mantua edition, 
as well as Otzar HaShetn, Pri Yitzchak, and commentaries of 
Art and Gra. Published by Benjamin Bischko. 



Copyrighted material 



320 SEFER YETZ1RAH 

Jerusalem, 1 S74-S5 T three volumes, 1 86 ff. Contains commen- 
tary of Gra, edited by his disciple R. Moshe Shlomo of 
Tulchin. Also includes supercommentary on Gra, Toidot 
Yinchak, by R. Yitzchak ben Yehudah Leib Kahanah (q.v.)- 

Warsaw, 1884, 4" 106 ff The standard edition in current use. Con- 
sists of two sections. The first section toniains all commentar- 
ies as in Mantua edition, as well as Otzar HaShem, The com- 
mentary Chakamom^ by R. Shabbatai Donello, is printed 
separately at the end of this section. Second section contains 
Pri Yitzchak and commentary of Gra, with commentary of Ari 
at the end. Also contains Long Version at end. This edition 
contains many typographical errors in the commentaries. 

London, 1902, 8" 79 pp. With commentary by Donash ibn Tamim 
<qv,) 

Jerusalem, 1962. Reprint of Warsaw edition. 

Jerusalem, 1965, 204 pp. Long Version, with commentary, Yotzer Or, 
by Bentzion Moshe Yair Weinstock. 

Israel, 1970. Reprint of London 1902 edition. 

Jerusalem, 1972, 143 pp. Critical edition of first chapter, based on 
all printed editions, commentaries and manuscripts, by Yisrael 
Weinstock. 'LeBirur HaNusach shd Sefer Yetzimh," Temirin 
1:9-61. 



Other Books Containing 
The Sefer Yetzirah 



Chemed Elohim, by R. Benyamin HaLevL Kabbalistic prayers and 
readings for the entire year Contains vocalized text of Ari 
(Gra) Version. In later editions (1772), the text is from a man- 
uscript from the library of R, Benyamin HaLevi, owned by his 
father, and edited by the Kabbalist, R. Shuliman ibn Ochna, 
one of the main disciples of the Ari, 6 

Ismir, 1 738. 

Venice, 1756, \22Jf. 

Venice, 1766. 

Venice, 1772, ]22fT, 

Venice. 1787, 108 ff 

Livorno t 1793- 

Venice, 1793. 

Livomo, 1797. 

Salonica, 1800. 



Copyrighted material 



Appendix IV 321 

Livonia I SO I. 

Livorno, 1803. 

Livorno, 1810. 

Livomo, 1820. 

Livorno, 1827. 

Livorno, 1837. 

Belgrad, \ 841, 12* \21ff. Edited by R. Chaim ben David 
Chaim. 

Livorno, 1842, 

Livorno, 1862. 

Venice, 1866, 
[Seder] Kiryat Moed. Kabbah stic and other readings for the nights of 
the Seventh of Passover, Shavuot, Hoshanah Rabbah, and the 
Seventh of Adar (anniversary of Moses" death), 

Constantinople, 1736. 

Livorno, 1743. 

Constantinople, 1754. 

Venice, 1756, 

Pisa, L786. 

Livorno, 1795. 

Vienna, 1801. 

Livorno, 1805, 

Vienna, 1822, 

Livorno, 1830. 

Livorno, 1841. 

Livorno, 1865, 

Vienna, 1870, 

Livorno, 1892, 8°259# 
Likutey Tzvi, Koi Bo, Warsaw (Levin-Epsleinh no date, p. 105. First 

and Last stanzas, as part of Shavuot night service. 
Mishnayot (vocalized), Venice, 1704. 
Same, but in a somewhat different version, Venice, 1737. 
Ne'edar BaKodesh, Contains Ari (Gra) Version, together with Idra 
Rahha t Idra Zuta, and Sifrg DeTzniuta, as recited on Shavuot 
night. Introduction by R. Moshe Hagiz. 7 

Amsteidam, 1723, 56JT 

Ismir t 1738. 

Ismir, 1746, 

[smir, l?5S t 8* 70./^ From manuscript in library of R, 
Benyamin KaLevi, edited by R. Shuliman ibn Ochna {see 
CMemed Efohim), 
Shaarey Tzion, edited by R. Nathan Notch ben Moshe Hanover, 
Prayers and readings for various occasions based on the teach- 
ings of the Ari. Prague, 1662, 



Copyrighted material 



322 SEFER YETZIRAH 

With additions: Tikkun Sunday, Kaddish, by R, Yermiyah of 
Venish. 

Amsterdam, 1672, 54 j^ 

Piague, 1682. 

Prague, 1688, 52 ff. 

Wilhelmsdorf, 1690. 

Prague, L692. 

Dessau, J 698, 

Venice, 170J- 
Wiih additions by R. Mordecai Markil ben Yisrael Nissan 

Diherenfimh, L705, 

Amsterdam, 1706, 

Venice, 1707. 

Wilhelmsdorf, 1712. 

Amsterdam, 1718. 

Amsterdam, 1720, 13 L# 

Constantinople, 1732, 

Amsterdam, 1736- A wmewhat different version. 

Venice, 1736, 187 ff 

Sulzbach, 1747. 

Amsterdam, 1751, 

Venice, 1751, 

Venice, 1753, 187 ff. 

Amsterdam, 1760. 

Amsterdam, 1764. 

Amsterdam, 1766, I23j^ 

Amsterdam, J 770. 

Amsterdam, J 774. 

Amsterdam, 1779, 123 # 

Sulzbach, 1782, 142^ 

Amsterdam, 1784, 

Novydwor, 1788. 

Poritzk, 1794, 

Livomo, 1795. 

Vienna, 1795. 

Dihernfurth, 1798. 

Pisa, 1799, 

Dihernfurth, 1804. 

Vienna, 1804. 

Vienna, 1809. 

Minkovitz, 18 L 2. 

Amsterdam, 1817, 

Gorodno, 1819. 

Medzyboz, 1823, 



Copyrighted material 



Appendix fV m 

OLhernlLinh. 1828. 

Ostrog, JS2S, 188.0; 

Venice, 1836. 

Josefov, 1839. 

Josefov, 1841, 
With Yiddish Translation 

Iassi, 1843. 

Zitamar, 1S49. 

Livomo, 1861. 

Vienna, 1864, 142 pp. 

Lvov, 1S63. 

Lvov, 1*71. 

Przemysl, 1917, 12° 196 jf. With commentaries, Poteach 

Shaarim* Shaarey Orah T Maasim Tovim, as well as Tikkun 

HaKeiali, by R. Nachman of Bneslov, 

New York, 1974. Reprint of the above. 
Tikkun Layt ShavuoL Readings for Shavuot mghi according to the 
order arranged by R. Shlomo AlKabatz. Contains first and last 
stanzas of the Long Version. 

Venice, 1648, 

Venice, 1654. 

Venice, 1655. 

Venice, 1659. 

Amsterdam, 1700. 

Amsterdam, 1708. 

Furth, 1723 T 8 fl 70jtf: 

Furth, 1728, L2* 18Sj^ 

Venice, 1730. 

Venice, 1739. 

Furth, 1739, 96 # 

Venice, L743, 97 # 

Frankfort am Mein, 1751, 

Sulzbach, 1754, 

Venice, 1766, 142iT 

Vienna, 1794, 8 D 141 ff. 

Vienna, 1803, 

Livorno, 1805- 

Blizorka, 1808, 

Sklav, L814, 

Ostrofc, 1S14. 

Oslrog, 1823, 

Blilovka, 1824, 

Livomo, 183L 



Copyrighted material 



J24 SEFER VETZIRAH 

Siavita, 1836 T 4* 165 ff. 
SudyLkov, no date, 
Zitamar, 1867, 168 # 
Vienna, 1861, 
Vienna, L864. 
Josefov, 1S65 T \40ff. 
Brody, 1 876, S« 13 g# 
And many others. 



Manuscripts 

Ari (Gra) Version 

Jewish Theological Seminary, Ms. Adler 1327, 1 6th century. 

Short Version 

British Museum, Ms. 736, ,/£ 4Ga-43b. 13 century. Earliest and best 

text of this version. 
Paris, Ms. 763, Jf. U-3a. 13th century. 
Parma, Ms. 1390,^ 36b08b. 14m century. 
Paris, Ms. 802, j£ S7b-59b. 1 4th century. 
Hebrew Union College, Cincinatti, Ms. 523. 1 4th century. 
British Museum, Ms. Caster 415,j# 29a-32a, 14th century, 
Vatican, Ms. 441, $ 1 18a-l22a T 16th century. 
Oxford, Ms. 2455, # 3a-*b. 1 6th century 
Cambridge, Ms. Add 647, $ 7b-9b. 1 6th century. 

Long Version 

Vatican, Ms. 299, ffi 66a-71b. Very old, probably from the 10th or 
1 1 th century. This is the earliest and best complete manuscript 
of Sefer Yetzirah. Is also contains an introduction by an early 
anonymous writer, published h> Yisrae] We in stock, Tarbiti 
32:157 (1963). Sinai 54:255-56 (1964) r The teat in this manu- 
script is often referred to in R h Yehudah Barceloni's commen- 
tary on Sefer Yetaira, 



Copyrighted material 



Appendix IV 32$ 

Oxford, Ms. J 531, J?: lb- 1 2a. 13th century, 

British Museum, Ms. 752,^ 79a-Sla, 14th century. Contains same 

text as Vatican 299, with some errors. 
British Museum, Ms. 737 t ,ff 379b-3B7a. 16th century. 



Saadia Version 

Geniza Fragment, Taylor Schechter 32,5, 1 1th century. This manu- 
script apparently contained the entire Sefer Yetzirah on a sin- 
gle page. Published by A.M. Habermann, Sinai 10 (1947). 

Geniza Fragment, Cam bridge- Westminster, Talmud 23-25. 

British Museum, Ms. 754, # 2l2a-2l6a. 14th century. 

Paris, Ms. 770, ff. 41a-45a. LSth century. 



Commentaries 



Aaron (ben Yosef) Sai-gado, 89O-960- Portions of this commentary 
are cited by R. Moshc Boiril (q.v.). 

Abraham <ben Shmuel) Abulafia, 1240-1296. Gan Naul. Written in 
Sicily in 1289. Munich, Ms. 58. Printed in part in Sefer 
HaPeliyah (Sefer HaKanah), Koretz, 1784, pp. 50c-56c. 

— ^ . Otzar Eden HaGanuz. Also contains important autobiographi- 
cal material, including a List of thirteen earlier commentaries 
on Sefer Yeuirah used by Abulafia. Written in Sicily in 1285* 
Oxford, Ms, Or 606. 

Abraham ben David, "The Raavad" Commentary printed in the 
Manilla, 1562 edition, as well as together with Rittangel's 
Latin translation (Amsterdam, 1642), and included in most 
major subsequent editions. Although the Raavad is usually 
identified as R. Abraham ben David of Posquieres 
(1120-1198), one of the early Kabbalists, the accepted opinion, 
both among Kabbalists and historians, is that he was not the 
author of this commentary.* From internal evidence, it was 
written in 1430. Many authorities attrihute this commentary 
to R. Yosef HaArukh <q.v r ) or R, Yosef (ben Shalom) Ashke- 
naii (q.v.). 9 This commentary appears to follow the system of 
R. Yitzchak Bardashi (q.v.). ia 

Abraham ibn Ezra, 1092-1 167, This commentary is mentioned by R. 
Abraham Abulafia, where it is described as combining philoso- 
phy and Kabbalah,' 1 In a letter to his brother. Ibn Ezra himself 



Copyrighted material 



326 SEFER YETZ1RAH 

also apparently refers to this commentary, 11 No known copy 
of this commentary is existent, 
Abu Shal Donash ibn Tamim. Sec Don ash. 
Anonymous Commentaries 

Jerusalem, Ms. S* 330:26, 29 T 30. 
Leiden, Ms. 24:6-10. 
Oxford, Mss. 632.2 
1557:7.9 
1594:5,6 
1623:5 
1794:10 
1947:1 
2280:3 
Paris, Mss. 680:6,7,8 
763;2,3,4A6,8 
766:3,5,6 
770:5 
774:3 
799:2 
843:2 
1048:3 
1092:10 
Art. See Yitzchak Luna. 

Azriel (ben Shlomo) of Gerona, 11 60- 1238, master of the Ramban in 
Kabbalah. Commentary mentioned by R. Abraham Abulafia. 
Parma, Ms. 1390, 14th century. According to some scholars, 
the printed commentary attributed to the Ramban was actu- 
ally written by R. Azriel." Sec Moshe ben Nachman, Ram- 
ban B. 
Barcelona See Ychudah Barcelona 

Bamkh {ben Barukh) Torgami, 13th century, Maftechot Ma Kabbalah. 
Torgami was the master of R, Abraham Abulafla, and ihc lat- 
ter also mentions his commentary, which consists largely of 
gematriot and other word manipulations. Paris, Ms. 770:1, 
with fragments in Oxford, Ms. 1598:3. Published in G. 
Scholcm, HaKabbalah Shel Sefer HaTemunah VeShel Abraham 
Abutafia, Jerusalem, 1965, pp, 229-239, 
Bentzion Moshe Yair Weinstock, contemporary, Yotzer Or r Commen- 
tary on the Long Version anthologizing earlier sources. Jerusa- 
lem, 1 965 T 204 pp. 
Birkat Yosef. See Yosef Edles Ashkanazi. 

Chaim of Vidzy, 1 8th century, Gan Yah. Commentary on Gra Ver- 
sion, following teachings of Ah and Gra, Written around 1 800, 
Breslau. 1831, r 42 Jf. 



Copyrighted material 



Appendix W 327 

Chakamom. See Shabbatai Don nolo. 

David Chabiio, 15S8-166L Existent in manuscript belonging to the 
late Warsaw community. 

Donash (or Adonim) Ibn Tamim, 10th century, M Written in Kair- 
wan, Tunisia, in 955 T based on the lectures of Donash's mas- 
ter, R, Yitzchak Israeli. Originally written in Arabic, but trans- 
lated in several versions into Hebrew. Mentioned by Abraham 
Abulafia. First commentary on Short Version. Existent in 
manuscripts Berlin Or S p 243;4 T Paris 1Q4&2, fragments of 
which were published by Georges Vajda, 15 A translation by R, 
Nachum HaMaarabi is in Munich, Ms. 47 T and parts of it were 
published by Yehudah Leib Dukes, in his introduction to 
Kuntres HuMesorer, Tubingen, 1846. The complete text was 
published by Menasheh Grossberg on the basis of Oxford, Ms. 
2250:2, London, 1902, 8' 79 pp. Reprinted, IsraeL 1970, 

Eliezer Ashkenazi. This commentary is mentioned by Abraham 
AbuLafia, who says that it is deeply Kabbalistic. No known 
copy existent, 36 

Eliezer Ha-Dar&han Ashkenazi. Mentioned by Abraham Abulafla, 
who states that he did not see it. Extant in manuscript, Munich 
Leipzig 30. Some identify this with commentary of R. Eliezer 
Rokeach of Wormes. 17 

Eliezer Ha-Kalir, around sixth century. Concepts found in Sefer 
Yetzirah are woven into some of his poetry. iS Some authorities 
place R. Eliezer Ha Kali r as early as the second century, identi- 
fying him with R, Eliezer, son of R. Shimon bar Yochai, 
author of the Zohar. 1 * 

Eliezer (hen Yehudah) Rokeach of Wormes (Garmiza), 1 1 60-1237, 
His treatment to the first three chapters is highly mystical but 
the astrological concepts in the later chapters is taken largely 
from ChafcamonL He is unique in utilizing 221 Gates, rather 
than 23 L British Museum T Ms, 737 T 16th century. Edited by 
R. Tzvi Elimelekh Shapiro of Dinov, and published by his 
grandson, Moshe Shapiro, as Perush HaRA MeGarmiza, Prze- 
mysl, 1*88, 21 ff. 

Abridgement of the above, first published in the Mantua, 1562, 

edition. 10 

Elchanan Yitzchak (ben Yakir) of London, middle 1 3th century. 
Based on lectures of R. Yitzchak of Dampierre.- 1 Fulda 
Landesbibliothek, Ms, 4, published by Georges Vajda, Kobetz 
at Yad 16:145-197(1966). 

Eliahu ben Menachem Ha-Zeken, around 1000. Often cited in com- 
mentary of R, Moseh Botril. 

Eliahu (ben Shlomo), Gaon of Vilna, "The Gra, H 1 720-1 797, Consid- 



C opy rig hted m ateri al 



3M SEFER YETZJRAH 

ered one of the greatest geniuses of ail time. Purely Kabbalistic 
commentary on the Gra Version, which he edited. First pub- 
lished in Grodno, L806, and contained ia subsequent editions, 
most notably that of Warsaw, 1 884. An edition edited by his 
disciple R, Moshe Shlomo of Tulchin, and also containing a 
supercomm^ntary, Totdot Yit2chak, by R. Yitzchak ben 
Yehudah l.cib Kahanah (q,v T ) was published in Jerusalem, 
1874, 186 pp. 

Ezra, 1 L 57- 1238. Disciple of Isaac the Blind, and master of Ramban 
in Kabbalah, His commentary on Sefer Yetzirah is mentioned 
by R. Abraham Abulafia. Some identify this with Ramban B 
(see Moshe ben Nachman). 

Gan Yah. See Chaim of Vidzy. 

Gan Naui See Abraham Abulafia, 

Ginat Egoz, See Yosef Gikatatia. 

Gra, Sec Eliahu> Gaon of Vilna. 

Hadrey Kodesh. See Meir Kornik, 

Hai (ben Sherira) Gaon, 969-1038. Fragments of his commentary are 
quoted b> R Moshe Botril. Jellincc asscmbctl ihtrsc fragments 
and primed ihim together, LiUeruiitrMait des Orients (OLB) 
1851, pp. 546-556. 

Sheeioi U'Tshuvot ai Sefer Yetzirah. Questions and answers 

regarding the Sefer Yetzirah. Vatican, Ms. 181. Quoted in 
Bachya, commentary on Exodus 34;6, Pardes Rimonim \\ : L 

Isaac. See Yitzchak. 

Isaac of Acco. See Yiuchak DeMin Acco. 

Isaac the Blind, See Yitzchak Sagj Nahor 

Jacob. See Yaakov. 

Joseph, See Yosef. 

Judah. See Yehudah, 

Kuzari. See Yehudah Ha Levi. 

Luria. Sec Yitzchak Luria, 

Meir Aristola. The existence of this commentary is mentioned by R. 
Shlomo AlKabatz (1505-1 584) in his Aperion Shlomo* chapter 
3. 3J 

Mcjt (ben Moshe) Kornik. 1 752-1826, Hadrey Kodesh. Commentary 
on first and Last stanzas of Long Version, as found in Tikkun 
Lay I Shavuot (q.v.). Dihrenfunh, 1812, 16# 

Meir (ben Shlomo) Vbn Sahula. Only known commentary written on 
Saadia Version, other than that of Saadia himself. Written in 
1331. Rome, Angelica Library, Ms, Or. 45, 14lh century. 

Menachcm Epstein, Yetzirah, Odessa, 1913, 30 pp. A discussion 
regarding the creation of a Golem through Sefer Yetzirah, 
based or* the Talmud and later sources* Also includes an analy* 



Copyrighted material 



Appendix IV 329 

sis of Niflaot Maharal Mi Prague, Pieterkov 1909. 

Moshe BotriL, early 1 5th century. Written in 1 409, and quotes many 
earlier sources no Longer in existence." Vatican, Ms. 441, 1 5th 
century. First printed in Mantua, 1562, and in most subse- 
quent editions. 

Moshe Coidevero, "The Ramak t " L 522- 1570. Dean of the Safed 
School of Kabbalah, Existent in manuscript, Jerusalem 8* 
2646^ The Sefer Yetzirah is also discussed extensively in the 
Ramans other works. 

Moshe (ben Maim on) Maimonides, "TheRambanV* 1135-1204. The 
existence of such a commentary is mentioned by R. Yechiel 
Heilpern in Seder HaDorot (Sefarim, Sefer Yetzirah). No copy 
is known to exist, and in general, the RambanVs philosophy 
appears to oppose the approach of the Sefer Yetzirah. 

Moshe ben Nathman, Nachmanides, "The Ramban," 1194-1267. 
One of the leading Talmudists and KabbaHsts in his time, 
Commentary is mentioned by Abraham Abu tail a. Jerusalem, 
Ms 8 3 330:28. if. 259a-2tilb, published bv Gershom Scholem, 
Kiryat Sefer 6:385-410 (1930). 

Ramban B. Commentary first printed in Mantua, I562 t and in 

many subsequent editions. Does not coincide with many 
quoted exerpts from Ramban*s commentary cited in early 
sources, as does previous text," According to most authorities* 
this is commentary of Ezra or Azariah of Gerona <q.v.) T " 

Moshe ben Yaakov of Kiev, 1449-1530, Ovzar HaShem, First pub- 
lished in Koretz, 1779, and included in many later editions. 
R. Moshe of Kiev is also known as author of Shoshan Sodoi 
(Koretz, 1 784). 

Moshe (ben Yaakov) ibn Shoshan. Written in 1511. Munich, Ms. 
104. 3T 

Moshe ben Yosef of Alisai. See Saadia, 

Nachum HaMaarabi. See Donash ibn Tamim T Yitzchak Yisraeli. 

Otot U'Moadim. See Yehoshua Ehcnbach. 

Oizar Eden HaGarwz, Sec Abraham Abulafia. 

Ot2ar HaShem, See Moshe of Kiev, 

Peretz (ben Yitzchak) Ha-Cohen, 13th century. In his noted work, 
Maarekhei Ehkut, Mantua, 1558, he mentions that he wrote 
a commentary on Sefer Yetzirah . J * 

Pri Yitzchak. See Yitzchak Isaac of Mohaiov. 

Raavad. See Abraham ben David T Yosef HaArukb T Yosef 
AshkenazL 

Ramak, See Moshe Cordevero, 

Ramban. See Moshe ben Nachman, Azrial T Ezra. 

Rambam. See Moshe Maimonides. 



Copyrighted material 



330 SEFER YETZJRAH 

Raziei, also known as Raziei HaMalakh and Raziei HaGadoL An 
ancient anonymous magical and Kabbalistic text. Actually 
consists of three books, Raziei HaMalakh (or Sefer 
HaMalbush, pp. 2b-7a), Raziei HaGadol (pp. 7b-33b) T and 
Sefer Raziei (or Ma'ayin HaChakhmah, pp h 34a-48b) T The sec- 
ond book, Raziei HaGadal, contains many important com- 
ments on Sefer Yetzirah. Some attribute this section to Abra- 
ham Abulafia ^ First published in Amsterdam, 1701, 4" 46 Jf 
Other editions include: 

Gorodna, 1793. 

Minkowitz, 1SQ3. 

Lvov, 1804,42.0: 

Medzyboz T 1818, 49 # 

Kapust, 1820, 

Lvov, 1821, 

Ostrog, 1821, 40 # 

Medzyboz, 1824. 

Minkowitz, 1S27. 

Osirog, 1S27. 

Osirog, no date, 4*, 

Lvov, 1835. 

Saloniea, J 840, 

Calcutta, 1845, 8* iUff. 

Warsaw, no date, 40 ff. 
Edited by R. Yisrael (ben Shabatai Shapiro) Maggid of 
Kozniit: 

Warsaw, 18)2, 

Lvov, 1842. 

Lvov, 1840, 40 # 

Lvov, 1863. 

Lvov, 1865, 64 pp. 

Lvov, 1869. 

Josefov, IS 73, 72 pp. 

Vilna, ISS1 T 4*. 

Warsaw, J SSL 

Lvov, 1882. 

New York (Naftali Zvi Margolies), no date, 1 55 pp. 
Saadia (ben Yosef) Gaon, 89 1-94 J , Tzafsor Ktaav AtMabadi, written 
in Arabic in 93 L Oxford, Ms. 1533, 13th century. Published 
with French translation by Meyer Lambert, under the title, 
Commentaire sur (e Sefer Yetzirah; our Livre Creation par le 
Gaon Saadja d Fayyoum, Paris 1891 , Also published with 
Hebrew translation by Yosef ben David Kapach, Jerusalem, 
1972, 143 pp. 



Copyrighted material 



Appendix IV 331 

Translated into Hebrew by anonymous author in the 1 1th cen- 
tury, Vatican, Ms, 236, 1 6th century. This is the text quoted 
in commentary of Yehudah Barceloni (q.v.). 

Translated into Hebrew by R. Moshe ben Yosef of Alisna. 

Parma, Ms. 769, 14th century. Exerpts of this translation were 
published by A. Jellinek, Litteraturblatt des Orients (OLB), 
1851, p. 224 

Saadia B. First published in Mantua, 1562+ and in many later 

editions. On Long Version, cannot be attributed in its entirety 
to Saadia Gaon, since it mentions mart} later sages, such as 
Abraham ibn Ezra and R, Yaakov Tarn. Most probably written 
by a 1 3th century Ashkenazic scholar, possibly named Saadia. 
A more complete version, including an introduction not in 
printed editions is existent in manuscript. Munich 40, Jerusa- 
lem 8* 1 136, 1 5th century, * Introduction was published by M. 
Sieinschneider Magazin fur die Wissenschafi des Judentums, 
1892, p. 83. 

Shabbatai (ben Avraham} Donnelo, 9-3-982, Chakomoni or 
Tachkamoni, Written in 946, and mentioned both by Rashi T Jl 
and by Abraham Abulafia. Parma, Ms. 41 7 T \ 5 th century, and 
Munich, Ms. 36:2." First published by David Caslelli, as // 
Commento di Sabbathai Donnoh sur Libro delta Creazione, 
Firenze, 1880, 8\ Also included in Warsaw, 1884, edition, pp. 
62a-74b. Published together with Kitzur Chovot HaLevavot, 
Jerusalem, 1945^ J 

Shlomo ibn Gabriel, 102 1-1050. In a number of his poems, he elabo- 
rates on the doctrines of Sefer Yetzirah. See Shirey Shlomo ibn 
Gabriel, edited by Bialik and Rawnitzki, Berlin-Tel Aviv, 
1924-29, Vol. 2, No. 58. 

Shlomo (ben Shimon} Tone), 16th century. Oxford, Ms. 2455:1. 

Shmuel (ben Saadia) ibn Motot, 1 5th century, Meshovev NetivoL Vat- 
ican, Ms. 225, 15th century, Faris, Mss. 769:1, 824:9, S42:2 h 

Shmuel (ben Elisha) Porteleone. London, Ms. Jews College. 

Tachkamoni. Sec Shabbalai Donnelo. 

Toldot Yitzchak, See Yitzchak Kahanah. 

Tzahallel (ben Net and) Gaon. Some of his poems expound upon the 
teachings of Sefer Yetzirah. Published by Davidson, Hebrew 
Union College Annual 3:225-55 f!926) T with additions by E, 
Baneth, Monatsschrift far Geschichte und Wissenschaft des 
Judentums (MGWJ) 7 1 :426-42 (1927). 

Yaakov ben Nisim of Kairwan T 908-976. Philosophical commentary 
based on teachings of Yitzchak Yisraeli, and much like com- 
mentary of Donash, Munich, Ms, 92:20. Published by 
Yehudah Leib Dukes, Kurtires HaMesorei, Tubingen, 1846." 



Copyrighted material 



332 SEFER VETZJRAH 

Yaakov of Sago via. His commentary is mentioned by Abraham 
Abulafia, who states that it is completely Kabbalistic. No 
known copy in existence, 3i 

Yehoshua Eisenbach, Otor U'Moadim, Bartfeld, 1904, 4 e 35 ff. 

Yehudah (ben Barzilai) Barcelona 1082-1 L 48. An extensive, mostly 
philosophical and Talmudical commentary, quoting numerous 
early sources, most notably Saadia Gaon. A most important 
source book regarding early Jewish thcoloey. Published by 
Shlomo Zalman Chaim Hatbersiam, Berlin, 1S85* 30, 354 pp. 
Reprinted* Jerusalem, 1971. 

Yehudah (ben Shmuel) Ha-Chasid of Regensburg, 1 145-1217, Men- 
tioned by Abraham Abulafia, who notes that it follows 
Chakamoni of Shabbatai Donnelo (q.v.). Cfi Leipzig, Ms. 30. 
(The commentary of R, Eliezar Rokeach of Wormes, a disciple 
of R, Yehudah HaChasid t often quotes his master, and this 
commentary also often follows Chakamoni) No known copy 
in existence. 36 

Yehudah Ha-Levi, 1068-1 11 8, In his famed Kuzari 4:25, he provides 
a highly insightful philosophical commentary on Saadia Ver- 
sion. Kuzari was written in Arabic, translated into Hebrew by 
Yehudah ibn Tebon {11 20-1 193), and first published in Fano, 
1506, 62 Jf. There have been over twenty-six subsequent edi- 
tions > including numerous translations and commentaries on 
this important classic. 

Yehudah (ben Nisim) ibn Malka, 14th century. Written in Arabic, 
and quoted in commentary of R, Moshe Botril, as well as in 
MegsUat Setarim (Venice, 1554), a commentary by R. Shmuel 
ibn Mo tot (q.v.) on Pentateuch commentary of Abraham ibn 
Ezra (q.v,) r JT Paris, Ms, 764:3, an excerpt of which is in 
Hirschfeld, Arabic Chrestomathy, London, 1S92, pp, 19-31. A 
Hebrew translation of this commentary is in Oxford, Ms, 
1536. See George Vajda, Juda ben Nissim ibn Malka: 
Phihsphe juif Marocain, Paris, 1954. 

Yeuiroh, See Menachem Ekstein. 

Yitzchak Bardashi, 1 2th century T J » Mentioned by Abraham Abulafia, 
who maJces special note of his arrangement of the 231 Gales." 
Here, his system is almost exactly the same as that found in 
Raavad (see Abraham ben David), 

Yitzchak (ben Leib) Kahanah, 1824-1900, Toidot Yitzchak. Super- 
commentary on commentary of R, Eliahu T Gaon of Vilna 
(Gra). First published in Jerusalem, IS 74, and with additions, 
Jerusalem, 1879. 

Yitzchak De-Min Acco (Isaac of Acco), 1250-1340. Disciple of 
Ramban. Commentary draws heavily on that of Yitzchak Sagi 



Copyrighted material 



Appendix IV 333 

Nahor. Jerusalem, Ms. 8' 404, published by Gershom 
Scholem, Kiryat Sefer 31:379-396 (1957). 

Yitzchak Luria, "The Ari n " 1534- J 571 Leading luminary of the 
Safed school, and the most influential of all ICabba lists. Com- 
mentary weaves teachings of Sefer Yetzirah into the Ari's gen- 
eral scheme. First published in Constantinople, 1719, 2olkiev, 
1745, and in other editions. Included at end of Warsaw, 1884, 
edition. A discussion of the Thirty-two Paths of Wisdom by 
the Ari is found in Likutey Shas, 1783, ff. 27a, b, and also at 
end of Warsaw edition. w 

Yitzchak Sagi Nahor (Isaac the Blind), 1160-1236. Son of R. Abra- 
ham ben David of Posqueres, and master of Azriel and Ezra 
of Gerona (q.v,). Considered one of the greatest of all 
KabbalistS- His is one of the few commentaries to openly dis- 
cuss me meditative aspects of Sefer Yetzirah. Rome, Angelica 
Library, Ms. 46, 15th century; Oxford, Ms. 2456:12; Leyden, 
Ms. 24:16^' Published by Gershom Scholem, at end of 
HaKahhalah BeProvence, Jerusalem, 1966^- 

Yitzchak Isaac <ben Yekutiel Zalman) of Mohalov, 1728- 1 S06, Pri 
Yitzchak. Kabbalistic commentary based on Zohar and teach- 
ings of the Ari. First published in Grodno, 1797, 8 B (also 
including additions to his Beer Yitzchak, his commentary on 
Tikuney Zohar, first published in Zolkiev, 1778), Also 
included in Lvov, I860, edition, and in second part of War- 
saw, 18S4 T edition, 

Yitzchak (ben Shlomo) Yisraeli, 830-932, One of the greatest sages 
of his time. According to his disciple* Donash ibn Tamim 
(q,v), Saadia Gaon {q.v.) would often consult him with regard 
to scientific matters. Philosophical and astronomical commen- 
tary, much like that of Donash ibn Tamim (q,v.), originally 
written in Arabic, Existent in manuscript, Biblioteque 
National Paris, and in translation by Nachum HaMaarabJ/ 1 * 
A fragment of this translation was published by Yehudah Leib 
Dukes, Kuntres HaMaesoret, Tubingen, 1 846, pp, 5-10. 

Yosef (ben Shalom) Ashkenazi, 14th century. According to most 
scholars, he is the author of the commentary printed under the 
name of Abraham ben David (Raavad, q.v.). Possibly identi- 
fied with Yosef HaArukh. Existent in manuscript, British 
Museum, Gaster 415, 14th century.** 

Yosef Edels {Ashkenazi), Birkat Yosef, Kabbalistic commentary on 
Gra Version, based on teachings of the Ari. Salonica, 1 S3 1 + 
32 ff 

Yosef Ha-Arukh { Joseph the Tall), 1 4th century. See Yosef Ashke- 
nazi, Abraham ben David. R, Moshe Cordevero cites the corn- 



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JJ4 SEFER YETZIRAH 

mentary on the Thiny-Two Paths of Wisdom, appearing in 
commentary of Abraham ben David (Raavad. q.v_). and attri- 
butes them to Yosef HaArukh/* However, in a number of 
places, R. Moshe Botril cites a commentary by R. Yosef 
HaArukh on Sefer Yelzirah, and it does not coincide with 
Raavad, 4 * 

Yosef Gikatatia, 1248-1323. Otic of the grcates Kabbalists, best 
known for his Shaarey Orah, first published in Riva di Trento, 
1 56 1 + a year before the first edition of Sefer Yetzirah, The sec- 
ond chapter of his Ginal Egoz is essentially a commentary of 
Sefer Yeiztrah. Printed in Hannau, 1615, 2' 75 #i Zolkiev, 
1773, Mohelov, 1798, 4"; Hannau edition reprinted anony- 
mously around 1 970, 

Yosef of Saporta. A fragment of his commentary is quoted by R. 
Moshe Botril {1:12), 

Yosef Sar Shalom, 15th century. His commentary is mentioned by 
R. Aaron AIRabi in his supercom mentary to RashL 17 

Yosef ben Uziel, said to be a disciple of the prophet Jeremiah. See 
Introduction, notes 42, 43. 

Yosef Or. See Bentzion Moshe Yair Weinstock. 



Translations 



Arabic 

Saadta Gaon, 89 1 -94 L In Siddur o/Saadia Gaort, Oxford, Ms* David 
Oppenheim 10 10.** 



Czech 

Otakar Griese, 1921. 

English 

Akiva ben Joseph { pseudonym), The Book of Formation, 1970, 
M. Doreal, Sepher Yetzirah. Translation and analysis- Denver, 1941, 
48 pp. 



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Appendix IV 333 

Alfred Edersheim, 1825-18S9, in his book, The Life and Times of 
Jesus, London, 1884 (and other editions), V ©1- 2 T pp. 
692-698, 

Irving Friedman, The Book of Creation. Translation and comments. 
Samuel Weiser, York Beach, ME, 1977. 

Isidor Kalish, "Sepher Yerira, a Book on Creation or the Jewish Met- 
aphysics of Remote Antiquity." With preface, explanatory 
notes and glossary. In A Sketch of the Talmud. New York, 
1877, 8* 57pp r 

Phineas Mordel, Sefer Yetzirah, Hebrew text and translation in a new 
version deduced logically by the author, but not accepted in 
kabbalistic or scholarly circles. Philadelphia, 1894, 2, 10 pp. 

The Origin of Letters and Numerals according to the Sefer 

Yetzirah. Same a* above, but introduction contains important 
historical data and quotes significant manuscripts, Originally 
published in Jewish Quarterly Review, New Series 2:557*5*3 
(1912), 3:517-544 (1913}. Published separately, Philadelphia. 
1914. Reprinted by Samuel Weiser, York Beach. ME, 1975. 

Saul Raskin, in Kabbaiah in Word and Image. Hebrew text with 
English and Yiddish translation. New York, 1952, 80 pp. 
Illustrated. 

Knut Senrin^ The Book of Formation (Sepher Ymirah). With intro- 
duction by Arthur Edward Waite. New York, 1923, 62 pp. 
Reprinted by Ktav, New York, 1970, 

William Wynn Westcott, Sepher YetziraK the Book of Formation. 
Based on text of Rillangel (q.v.). London, 1837. Reprinted 
with additional notes as a volume of Collectanes HermatJca, 
London, 1893, 43 pp. Printed separately, London, 1911, 49 
pp. The 1893 edition was reprinted by Samuel Weiser, York 
Beach, ME, 1975, 



French 

Comtesse Calomira de Cimara, Sepher Yextitah, Paris, 1913, 4* 27 
pp. 

Gerard Encausese (Papus), Sefer Yetzira, Paris, 1888. 

Karppe. Etude sur tes Origines ,.,du Zohar t Paris, 1 90 1 , pp. 
139-158, 

Meyer Lambert , Commentaire sur \e Sefer Yesirah: Our Livre Cre- 
ation par le Qaon Saadja de Fayyoum* Paris, 1 891, pp. ML 



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W6 5EFER YETZ1RAH 

German 

E. Bischof. L9J3. 

Lazarus (Eliezer) Goldschmidt, Das Buch der Sch&pfung (Sepher 
Jestrah), With introduction, bibliography and notes, Hebrew 
texts compare all printed editions, A valuable reference work, -19 
Frankfort am Mein, 1894 T 92 pp. 

Yohann Freidrich von Meyer, Das Buch Yezirah: die Alsier 
Kabbalistischen Vrunded der Hebraer. Hebrew text and Ger- 
man translation, Leipzig, 1830, 4* 36 pp, 

Frieherr Albert von Thimus, Die Harmonikaie Shmboiik des 
Aiterihums. Analysis of Sefer Yetzirah. K6ln T 1 86S-76, Vol. 2. 



Hungarian 

Bela Tennen, A Teremies Konyr^ Budapest, 1931, 62 pp. 

Italian 

S. Savini, 1923. 

Latin 

Athanasius Kirscher, Werke Oedipus Aegyptacus 2:l n Rome, 1653, w 
Johannes Pistorius (John Pistor) h 1546-1608, "Liber de Creations 
Cabafistinis, Hebraice Sepher Jei\ra\ Authore Abrahamo t w in 
his Artis Cabaiisticae hoc esi Reconditae Theologiac ei 
Philosophise Scriporum. Some scholars attribute this transla- 
tion to Johann Reuchlin, or to Paul Ricci (an apostate Jew who 
also translated Yosef Gikatalia's Shaarey Orah into Latin ). JI 
At the end of British Museum Ms. 740, there is a note that it 
was written in 1488 by a Jew, Yitzchak of Rome. Basitte, 1 587, 
Vol I, pp, 869-872, 
Gulelmus Postellus (William Postell), 15 10- 1581, Abrahami Pairi- 
archa Liber Jezirah sive Formationis Mundi, Patribus quidem 
Abrahami tempora prctdenttbus revalatus. First translation of 
Sefer Yeuirah. This translation is based on the Short Version, 
but in a somewhat different form than that published in the 
Mantua, 1 562 edition, A similar version is found in some ear- 



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Appendix W 3*7 

lier manuscripts. This translation was published ten years 
before the first Hebrew edition. Paris, 1552, 16" &4 pp. 
Joanne Stephatio Rittangelio (John Stephan RittangelJ T 1606-1652, 
Liber Jezirak, qui Abrahamos Patriarchs? Ad&eribitur, unacum 
Commeniario Rati Abraham F.D. super 32 sentitis Sapientia. 
a quibus Liber Jezirah incipii. Contains Hebrew text, commen- 
tary of R. Abraham ben David (Raavad, q + v,), and the Thirty- 
Two Paths of Wisdom. Notes and Illustrations. Amsterdam, 
1642, 4*208, 8 pp. 



Yiddish 

Saul Raskin, Kabbalah in Word and Image. Contains Hebrew text 
with English and Yiddish translations. New York, 1952, SO pp. 



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NOTES 



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.Vctf« Ml 



Introduction 



h This is discussed at length in my Meditation and Kabbalah, and 
Meditation and the Bible {York Beach, ME: Samuel Weiser), 

2. tft*2fl« 4:27. 

3. BarceLoni, p. 100. This is in the British Museum, Ms. 600. See 
M. Marguliot, Catalogue of Hebrew and Samaritan Manuscripts 
in the British Museum, Vol. 2, p. 197. Also in the Vatican, Ms. 
299. and the British Museum, Ms. 752. Another account also 
states that Rava and Rav Zeira gazed {tzafah) in the Sefer 
Yetzirah for three years {Barcelona p T 268). 

4. Thus, in a number of places in the text, the word Tzar is used 
instead of Yatzar This is more easily read in the imperative 
than in the third person past. 

5. Sanhedrin 67b t Barcelona /oc ciL Also see Shulchan Arukh, Yoreh 
Deah 179:15, Sifiey Cohen 179:18; Tshuvot Radbaz 3:405, 

6. Yehudah ben Nissim ibn Malka, Commentary on Sefer Yetzirah 
(Oxford, Ms, 1536), quoted in George Vajda, Juda ben Nissim 
ibn Malka, Phifosophe juif Marocain, {Paris, 1954), p. 171; 
Gershom Scholem, Kabbalah and its Symbolism, (New York, 
1969), p. 1 77. There is some question as to whether this Raziel 
is the same as the published edition, Abraham Abulafia also 
mentions having studied this book, see Sheva Netivct 
HaChakhmah, in A, Jellinek, Philosophie und Kabbalah, (Leip- 
zig, lS54),p. 21, 

7. A,M, Habermann, Sinai 10:3b (1974) with regard to Geaiza 
fragment Taylor-Schechter 32:5. This is the Saadia Version, 
which is the longest. 

8. Yisrael Weinstock, "LeBinir HaNusach shel Sefer Yetzirah," 
Temirin 1:20, note 41, 1:16, note 31. 

9 T See Ne'edar BaKodesh, Shaarey Tiion. 

10. Barceloni, p. 105. In the Pistons translation, chapters five and 
six are combined, as well as in many manuscripts. See 
Weinstock, loc. cit., note 33. The divisions in Donash and 
Chakamoni were put in by the printer, and do not exist in the 
original manuscripts. 

1 1 . Saadia Gaon, Commentary on Sefer Yetzirah^ translated into 
Hebrew by Yosef Kapach (Jerusalem, 1972), p. 34. 

12. See Introduction to Raziel; Shimushey Tehillim in Tshuvot 
Rashba 4 1 3; R, Moshe Cordevero, Commentary on Zohar Shir 



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142 SEFER VETZLRAH 

HaShirim(Jera$&lem, Ms. 4' 74), in G. Scholem, Kiivev Yad 
BaKahbataK P- 233-4, 

13. See Bahir, Ed. Reuven Margolios (Jerusalem 1951), Nos, 95. 
101, 106, 

14. Saadia Gaon, pp. 17, 33, 

J 5. Ha i Gaon t quoted in Bachya on Exodus 34: 6 b Parties Rimonim 
11:1, Kerem Chemed 8:57; Donash, pp. 1 6,26, Chakamoni (in 
Warsaw, 1884 edlion), p, 66a, Kuzari 4:25 (Warsaw, 1 880), 42a; 
Or HaShem 4:10 (Vienna, 1S60}, 90b, Tzioni on Genesis 12:5; 
Nissim ben Yaakov, introduction to his commentary on Sefer 
Yetzirah, quoted in Goldschmidt, Das Buck der Schopfung 
(Frankfort am Mein, 1894), p. 31 1 note 2. Rabbi Abraham 
Abulafia, however, apparently was not certain as to the author- 
ship, and writes, "let it be whoever it is.* 1 Or HaSekhel 4:2 (Vati- 
can, Ms. 233), p, 48b, quoted in Landauer, Utteraturblatt des 
Orients (OLBJ 1846, Goldschmidt, p, 8, note 4, 

16. Zohar (Tosefta) 2:275b end, Zohar Chadash 37c; Raziel (Amster- 
dam, 1 70 1. > T 8b, [New York, Margolies, no date, p. 1 7]. 

17. See note 3. Cf. Barceloni, p. 268. 

18. Saadia, p. 33, 

19. Barceloni, p. 100. 

20. Zohar 1:37b. 

21. Tzioni ad ioc y Raavad on Sefer Yelzirah 6:4. 

22. Abraham left Haran at God's command when he was 75 years 
old (Genesis 12:4). According to most authorities, Abraham 
made the covenant with God mentioned in Genesis L5 when he 
was 70 years old, before he left Haran, See Seder Olam Kabbah 
1, Mekhilta on Exodus 12:40, Ramban, Sifsei Chachamim, 
ibid.\ Rashi, Sanhedrin 92b, "UTa'u™ Tosefot. Shabbar 10b, 
^VeSheir Avodah Zarah 9a b "U'Gemirir Rosh, Yebamor 6:12. 
This covenant may have been related to the system of Sefer 
Yetzirah, see below, chapter 1, note 70. See R. El icier of 
Wormes, Commentary on Sefer Yetzirah. p. la. 

23. See note 95, Also see Zohar 1:79a, 2:198a. 

24. Barcelona p. 266. C/ Botrii on 1:1; Saadia B (Munich, Ms. 40), 
p. 77a, quoted in Scholem, Kabbalah and its Symbolism, p. 171. 
Also see Saadia, p, 141, Barceloni, p. 99, 

25. Fesikia Chadata, in A, Jellinek, Bet HaMidrash (Leipzig, 1853), 
6:36 T quoted in Barceloni, p. 268, Sefer Rokeach (Jerusalem, 
1967), p. 19, and in translation, in Scholem, Kabbalah and its 
Symbolism, p, 178, See chapter 2, note 61. 

26. Genesis 14:18, Rashi, Targum J. ad toe. Psalm 1 10:4, Nedarim 
32b, Ran ad toe. "U'Malki Tzedek"\ Radak, Ralbag, on Joshua 
10:1. 



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Notes 343 

27. Pirkey Rabbi Eliezer 48 (Warsaw, 1852), 1 16a, It is also taught 
that Moses studied the letters on Mount Sinai, lbid r 46 
(110b). 

28. Bava Batra 1 6b, Abraham was considered a leading figure in his 
time* Kidditshin 32b* Ramban of Genesis 40:14, 

29. Pirkey Rabbi Eliezer S {I8b) t Ran, Ioc. tit 

30. Shabbai 1 56a. 

31 . Avodah Zarah 14b, Cf. Barceloni, p. 100. 

32. Sanhedrin 91b, Be'er Sham, ad !oc„ Zohar l:99b T i:L33b, 
l:233a t Barcelona p. 159. 

33. Shnei Luchoi HaBrit, Torah SheBeK'tav. VaYeshev (Lvov, ] 860), 
3:65a; Pitchey Tshuvah, Yorah Deah 62:2. See YerushaJmi Peak 
1:1, Rashi on Genesis 3 7; 2. 

34. Bemkhot 55a. Cf Barcdoni p. 102, Raavad on 6;4 N Melzaref 
LeChakhmah { Jerusalem, n,d,), 28a, Also see Ramban on Exo- 
dus 31:3. According to Rashi, the "knowledge" mentioned in 
this verse refers to Ruach HaKodesh. 

35. Tanchuma, Pekudey 2 T Zohar 2:162b. 

36. Pesikta Chadata, in Bet HaMidrask 6:37. A similar tradition is 
attributed to R, Vehudah ben Batirah in his Sefer Bitachon, said 
to be quoted by R, Chamai Gaon in his Sefer HaYichud (this 
book is quoted in Pardes Rimomm ll:4) T cited in Avodat 
HaKodesh 3; 17 (Warsaw, 1S94), S0a Chelkak MeChokak on 
Ewen HaEzer 1:8, Tills is also found in Jewish Theological 
Seminary, Ms. Halberstam 444, p. 200, and in Latin in Johanne 
Reuchlin, De Arte Cabalistica O603), col. 759. Also see Peliyah 
(Koreti, 1784), 36a, Yalkul Reuveni (Warsaw, l*84) t 20b; R< 
Yehudah HaChasid T Sefer HaGematria, quoted by Abraham 
Epstein, Beitrdge zur Judischen Ahertumskunde (Vienna, 1887), 
pp. 1 22-3; Saadia B, iniroduciion to Sefer Yetzirah, published 
by M. Sleinschncidcr. Magazin fur die Wissenschaft das 
Judentums, 1892, p< S3, Also see Rav Pa'alim (Warsaw, 1894), 
p. 41. For English translation , see Scholem T Kabbalah and its 
Symbolism, pp. 178-180; Phineas MordelL The Origin of Letters 
& Numerals According to the Sefer Yetzirah (New York, 1975), 
pp. 51, 52. 

37. Alfa Beta deBen Sirah, in Otzar Midrashim^ p, 43, Cf. Chelkat 
Mechokek on Evven HaEzer 1;S T Mishnah LaMelekh on Yad, 
Ishut 15:4. See Rahi, Chagigah 15a, "BeAmbati." 

38. Sefer MahariU beginning of Likutim at end of book (Jerusalem, 
1969), 85a. 

39. Bet Chadash, on lur Yoreh Deah 195 "VeLo" (77b): Turey Zahav> 
Yoreh Deah 95:7; Bet Shmuel, Evven HaEzer 1: l0 b Birkey Yosef 
Ewen HaEzer l:L4 b Tshuvot R, Yaakov Emdirt 2:97, Tshuvot 



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J44 SEFER YETZJRAH 

Tashbaiz 3:263; Pachad Yitzchak "Ben Biro" {309), According 
to some sources, Rav Zeira and Rav Pappa were bom in the 
same manner, see At/a Beta DeBen Sirah. Otzar Midrashim p. 
43 , Yuctein (Jerusalem 1962), 39c T Tzemach David (Warsaw, 
1878), p, 26, Seder HaDorot, Tanaim VeAmoraim, R. Zeira 3 
{Warsaw, 1882), VoL 2, p. 59c 

40, Yosef ben Uziel is mentioned at the beginning ofAlja Beta DeBen 
Sirah (Ed, Steinschneider, Berlin, LS5£), in Otzar Afidraskim p. 35. 
There is also a dispute between Uziel, son of Ben Sirah, and Yosef 
ben Uziel, Ibid p. 36. Also see pp. 37, 39. These is also a treatise 
called Bareita of Yosef ben Uziei, which is said to be based on teach- 
ings that Jeremiah revealed to him, see Leipzig, Ms. 30, p. 12, A. 
Epstein, HaChoker, Cracow-Vienna, IB9M5, 2:41; Morddl, p. 48. 
This Rareiia is apparently tiuoted in Reran ii on Genesis 3:24 [] 5c). 
This Yosef ben L'zid may be identified as the great-grandfather of 
Judith, She is described as "Judith, daughter of Mcrari, son of Ox, 
son of Joseph, son of Onel son of Helkias" (Apocrypha, Judith 
8:1). Helkias or Chilkiah of course, is the father of Jeremiah (1:1), 
and the generations of Jeremiah and Ben Sirah may have been 
eliminated from the text, perhaps due to ihe sensitivity regarding 
the birth of the latter. In another source, Judith is identified as a 
"daughter of the prophets,** see Nissim ben Yaakov b Chibur Yafeh 
(Amsterdam, 1746), 22a, Bet HaMidrask 1:130, Otzar Midrashim 
p. 104. Cf. Ran, Shabbai (on Rif 10a, top), Kti Bo 44, Shuthan 
Arukh, Orach Chaim 670:2 in Hagah. See farther, }btzer for second 
Sabbath of Chanukah, end, 

41, Paris, Ms. 762, British Museum Ms. 15299, quoted by J.L. 
Barges in Sefer Tagin (ed. Schneur Zalcs, Paris 1866), and also 
quoted by Mordell, p. 49. 

42, Rav Paatim, p. 66, Seder HaDorot Sefarim, Sefer Yetzirah; 
Otzar Sefarim, Yud 386. There is a manuscript that concludes, 
"Thus ends the Mishnah of Abraham and the Mishnah of Yosef 
ben Uziel," Oxford, Ms. 1947:3, described in Neubauer, Cata- 
logue of the Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library (Oxford, 
1886-1906). 1947:3; Goldsmidl, p. 1 1, note 2. Abo see Oxford, 
Ms. David Oppenheim 965. This is discussed at Length in 
Mqrdel^ pp. 47- 50. See chapter 5 T note 38h 

43, Bava Batra 1 5a, Maaseh Bereshit was also revealed to Daniel, 
see Seder Olarn Rabbah 29 { Jerusalem, 1971), p. 102; Tanna 
DeBei Etiahu Rabbah 17 (Jerusalem, 1963), 79b, from Daniel 
2:19. Regarding a similar revelation to Ezra, see Apocrypha, 2 
Esdras 14:44. 

44, Berakhot 33a. These were not put in writing, and were there- 
fore forgotten, see MegiUah 1 8a. 



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Nates 343 

45. Yerushalmi, Sanhedrin 7:13 (4la) t according to reading in 
Frank, La CabbalaK p T 77, 

46. Avot 2:8, Succah 28a, Bava Eatra 1 34a, 

47. Ckagigah 14b, Tosefta 2. He was also expert in magic, see 
Sanhedrin 68a. See Yosef Tzayach, Tzaror HaChaim^ Jews Col- 
lege., London, Ms, 318, p. 32a. 

48. Sefer HaTaggin { Paris, 1866), in Orzar Midrashim p. 564 T also 
quoted in Machzor Vitri (Berlin, 1SS9}, p. 674. See chapter X 
note 38. 

49. -4w*2:8. 

50. Ckagigah 14b, Tosefta 2, Z<?to Chadash 7a, See RadaL, intro- 
duction to Pirkey Rabbi Eliezer 6b, 

51. We thus find that he went to the river Dismay see Shabbat 
147a T Rashi, ad toe., Avot Rabbi Nathan 1 4:6. In another source, 
however, we find that he went to Em ma us where his wife was, 
Kohelet Rabbah on 7:7. See Neubauer, Geographie du Talmud 
(Pans, 1868). p. 100; Otzar Yisrael 2:79. 

52. Midrash Tanaim on Deuteronomy 26:1 3 (Ed, David Tzvi Hoff- 
man, Berlin, 1908}, p. 175. See my introduction to The Bah ir, 
note 37. Also see below, chapter 4 t note 5. Emmaus was a town 
near Tiberias. 

53. Bava Batra 10b; Hekhelot Rabbatai 16:3 (Batey Midrashoi 
1:92). 

54. Ckagigah 2:2 (L6a). See discussions in Bavii and Yerushaimi, ad 
foe. 

55. Antiquities 1 5:LO:5 (Tr. William Whiston; New York, n.d.), p, 
471, See Yucksin 9d, Shatskelet HafCabbatah (Jerusalem, 1962), 
p. 57 t Seder HaDarat, Tanaim, VeAmoraim, "Menachem.™ 
Samius mentioned in Antiquities 14:10:4 is most probably 
Sham ma i. 

56. Wan 2:8:7, 12. 

5 7 . Antiquities 1 5: 1 0: 4, p. 4 7 1 . 

58. Minaekot 29b. A text on the subject is also ascribed to him, see 
Batey Midraskot 2:47 1. See chapter X note 38. 

59. Ckagigah 14b. He also learned the magical spells involving 
cucumbers from Rabbi Yehoshua, Sanhedrin 68a. 

60. He was thus the only one of the four who entered Paradise who 
"emerged in peace," Ckagigah 1 4b. He was able to describe syn- 
esthesia, a common experience of the mystical stale, see 
MekhilLa on Exodus 20: 15. It was he who also taught that God 
cannot be seen in even the most abstract vision, see Mekhilta 
on Exodus 20:4 T Barceloni, p, 14, 

61. Fardes Rimonim 1:1; R, Yitzchalt de Lattes, responsum at 
beginning of Zohar, Shabhelet HaKabbalah, p. 63. Pardes 



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346 SEFER YETZIRAH 

Rimonim was completed in 1 548, and first published in Salon- 
ica, J 5S4. The responsum of R. Yitzchak de Lattes was written 
in 1558. Shalshelet HaKabbalah was first published in Venice, 
1587. This, then, appears to be the time that this tradition was 
in circulation. 

62. It is thus taught that an anonymous Mishnah is Rabbi Meir, 
Tosefta is Rabbi Nehemiah, Sifra is Rabbi Yehudah, Sifri is 
Rabbi Shimon (bar Yochai), and all follow Rabbi Akiba, 
Sanhedrin 86a, Iggeret Sherirah Gaon (Jerusalem, 1972), p. 27, 
Also see Git tin 67a, Rashi, ad loc. "Otzar^ Avoi Rabbi Nathan 
18:1, Tosefia, Zavim 1:2. A mishnah of Rabbi Akiba is men- 
tioned in Sanhedrin 3:4 (27b), Tosefta, Maaser Sheni 2:1 3; Shir 
HoShirim Rabbah &; I , Koheiet Rabbah 6:2. This is apparently 
related to the "first Mishnah" which we find in Eduyot 7:2, 
Git tin 5:6 {55b), Nazir 6:1 (34b>. See Maharitz Chayot, Yoma 
53b, 

63. Berakhot 47a, Shabbai 15a, Bekhorot 5a, Eduyot 1:3. See 
Rambam, introduciion to Mishnah, introduction to Yad. See 
Maharitz Chayot, Shabbai 6b. 

64. See note 62. 

65. Rambam T introduction to Mishnah, introduction to Yad\ 
Ishitvat Sherirah Gaon, Cf Yebamot 49a, Sanhedrin 57b, 
Minachot 70a, Chutin 60b, Yerushalmi, Berakhot 9:5 (6Sa), 
Maharitz Chayot, Shabbai 6b. See Saadia, p. 33, that Sefer 
Yeizirah was likewise preserved, 

66. Rashi, Shabbai 6b, "Megillat. " 

67. Introduction to Yod* 

68. Chayot, Sotah 20a, from Bereshit Rabbah 9:5, 20:29, 
Yewshatmi, Taanit 1:1 <3a). See Sefer Chasidim 282, as well as 
Eruvin 21b, 54b, Shnei Luchot HaBrit 3:23 1 a. 

69. Rashi, ioc. cit.. Bava Metzia 92a, "Megillat " 

70. Chagigah 2A (lib). 

71. See my Meditation and Kabbalah, chapter 2:1. 

72. Hekhalot Rabatai 1:1, Tshuvat Hai Gaon, in Sheelot UTshuvot 
HaGaonim (Lyck, 1864), (#99), quoted in HaKotev on Eyin 
Yaakov, Chagigah 14b (#11); Otzar HaGaonim. Chelek 
Halshuwt. Chagigah, p, 14; R, Chananel on Chagigah 1 4b, 
Arukh, "Avrtey Shay tin/' For philosopher's opinion, see Yad, 
Yesodey HaTorah 2:12, 4:13; Rambam on Chagigah 2:1 T Moreh 
Nevuchim, introduction to pan 3; Or HaShem 4:10 (90a, b). 

73. Rashi (in Eyin Yaatcov\ Chagigah lib, "Am Dorshin" [Cf 
Rashi, Chagigah )3a, "Sitrey Torah, m where he also includes 
Sefer Yeizirah), Kazan 4:25 (53a), see Koi Yehudah* ad toe.: Or 
HaShem 4:10 (90b), Metzaref LeChakhmah 6 f23a. b)< 



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74. We thus find thai a disciple of Rabbi Yehudah the Prince 
expounded upon the Markava before him, Yerushalmi, 
Chagigah 2: 1 (9a top). 

75. So in Tosefou Git tin 56a "Agla," Bekhorot 19a "DeHach." Cf 
Rashi T Sanhedrin 65b + Shabbat\ la T Emvjn 63a, Pesachim 68a, 
Arukh, "Tifta," Targum J H lbn Ezra on Genesis 15:9* where 
other interpretations are found. Some say that it indicates a 
"three year old calf,'* while others, "a calf a third the size of its 
mother" 

76. Sanhedrin 65b. Cf Pesikta Chadata* Bet HaMidrash. 6:36, 
which slates that they are the tongue for the Saturday night 
meal. 

77 r Sanhedrin 67b. 

78. We thus find the ierm T "rules of medicine" {hilkhot rafua}* 
Yentshalmi, Yevamot 8:2 (47a) + Sifri (247) on Deuteronomy 
23:2. We also find an expression, "It is a rule (halakhah) that 
Esau hates Jacob," Sifri on Numbers 9:10, Rashi on Genesis 
33:4. 

79. Barcelona p. 268. Vatican, Ms. 29% 66a, 

80. Barcelona p. 103, Cf Yad Raman. Sanhedrin 65b, 

81. Ner Ehhim, quoted in G, Scholcm, HaKabbaiah shei Sefer 
Hetemunah VeSehl Abraham Abutafia (Jerusalem, 1965), p. 
217. 

82. Tshuvot Rashba 413. 

83. Sanhedrin 17b. Pumpadita was founded in the year 255. and 
stood for some 800 years. 

84. Chagigah 13a, Cf. Maharsha, ad loc. Note that on the bottom 
of this folio, Rav Yehudah explains the Chashmal, 

85. See Rashash, ad loc, 

86. See note 34. 

87. Shabbat 1 56a. See note 30, See chapter 3, note 38. 

88. Kiddushin 7 1 a. Some say that this Name is the essence of 
Maaseh Bereshit, Tosefat, Chagigah I lb "A in Dorshin. * The 42 
letter name is actually derived from the first verses of Genesis, 
see Zohar 1 :30a, Tikuney Zohar 13a, Peiiyah 37b + Sefer 
HaKanah (Cracow, 1894), SSa, Pardes Rimonim 21:13. It is sig- 
nificant to note that the initial letters of Maaseh Bereshit^ Mem 
Bet, spell out the number 42, 

89. Shabbat 41a. 

90. Ibid. M^Sotah 33a. 

91. Chagigah 1 3a. 

92. Rash i states that the text of Hakhaht Rabatai was the essence 
of Maaseh Markava, Rashi (in Eyin Yaakov) on Chagigah 1 lb. 
See note 72. 



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Mt SEFER YETZJRAH 

93. See note 16. Also see Reyah Mehemna t Zohar 2: J 87b; Tikuney 
Zohar 70 (L 32b end). It is significant that most commentators 
on Sefer Yetzirah. even those as late as R. Moshe Botril T who 
lived over a century after the Zohar was published, do not quote 
the Zohar r 

94. Chagigah 13a. 

95. Yerushatmi. Sanhedrin 7: 1 3 (4 1 a) T Bereshit Rabbah 39:14, 84:4, 
Tanchuma, Lech Lecha 12. This is also slated anonymously in 
Sifri {32) to Deuteronomy 6:5, Avot Rabbi Nathan 12:7, Rabbi 
Eiazar said many things in the name ofR. Yosi ben Zimra, cf 
Berakhot 32b. 

96. Aft'drash Tehittim 3:2 {ila). Bracketed portion is not in all edi- 
tions ^ "There is also a teaching that God placed the Sefer Yetzirah 
in the Torah, see Bet HaMidrash 6:36. 

97. Sanhedrin 65b< 

98. Chulin L 22a end. 

99. Bora Metzia 85b. See below, chapter 3 T note 11, R, Zcira also 
had his Ihroat slit and was miraculously resurrected, Megiiiah 
7b. 

100. Barcelona p. 268. Cf Bet HaMidrash 6:36. 

101. Sanhedrin 65b. Rasht says that they accomplished this using the 
Sefer Yetzirah,, also see Raavad on 6:4 t Meizaref LeChakhmah 
27a, b. There is a question as to whether this was an actual cre- 
ation or an illusion, cf Yad Ramah, ad ioc.. Barceloni, pp. 102, 
J03, Tshuvoi Radbaz 3:405, Bet Yosef on Yoreh Deah 179, 
Tshu\ot Maharshai 98. Some authorities here read Rabbah 
instead of Rava, see Vaakov Emdin, ad ioc., Margolios on Bahir 
196. 

102. Bahir 196. Cf Avodm HaKodesh 3:9; Hillel of Verona, Tagmutey 
HaNefesh (Lyck, 1 874), 9b t Ramban on Genesis 2:7. 

103. Cf. Tshuvot Chacham Tzvi 93. 

104. Peiiyah 2c: "He reversed his name {RBA\ and created \HlL4}r 

105. Tar^um J. on Genesis 1:27. The sum 612 is also the numerical 
value of Brit, meaning covenant. See below 1:3, 1:8, 

1 06. It is significant thai, when written this way, Abracadabra con- 
tains the word BRA (Bara). meaning to create, while the 
remaining Idlers add up to 26, the numerical value of IheTetra- 
grammaton. Abracadabra is usually written in descending order, 
and similar devices are found, see Rashi, Avodah Zarah 12b, 
Raziel 40b (139), Gra on Sefer Yetzirah 2:4. 

107. Barcelona p, 102. 

108. Quoted in Barceloni, p. 104. Also see note 72. 

109. Sasoon Ms + 218, p. 22 T described in OhetDawid (Oxford, 1932), 
p. 27 1 r Also see L, Zunz, Literaturgeschichte (Berlin, 1865), p. 



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Votes 349 

32, Nehemtah Aloni, HaShitah HaAnogramit shet HaMihnut 
BeSefer Yetzirah, Temirin 1:69 (Jerusalem. 1972). Cf A. Mirski. 
Sinai 65:184 (1929); Idem.. Yaikut HaPiutim (Td Aviv, L958), 
pp. 17-23. 

1 10. See Bareita DeShmuei HaKatan, beginning of chapter 5. 

111. BaMidbar Kabbah 14;12 + All the sevens in Sefer Yetzirah are 
also mentioned in another early Midrash, Pirkey Rabbi ELiezer 
18 (43b, 44a), see below 4:7. 

112. Temirin. p. 21. 

113. Donash ibn Tamim, Commentary on Sefer Yetzirah (London, 
1902), p. 65; Barceloni, p. 138. See above, note 68. 

114. Yaakov ben Nissan, Commentary on Sefer Yetzirah, Munich, 
Ms. 92:20, quoted in Goldschmidt, p. 30, note 4. 

I L5. See Revue des Edudes Juives (REJ) 105:133-136, 140; Temirin, 

p. II. 
1 16. Otzar Eden HaGanuz (Oxford, Ms. Or 606), p. 78b. 
IL7. Saadia,p> 34 t 

1 18. Barceloni, pp. 105, 1 16, 211; Donash, p. 49. 

1 1 9. Ramak, Commentary on Sefer Yetzirah 1:13 (Jerusalem, Ms, 8* 
2646:2), p. 1 0b. Cf G. Scholem, Kitvey Yad BaKabbalah (Jeru- 
salem, 1930), p. 93, Also see Parties Rimonim 21:16, 

120. Introduction to Perush HaGra on Sefer DeTzeniuta (Vilna, 
1 843), p. iv. The Gra used ten versions, choosing that of the Ari, 
but correcting certain errors in the printed editions. 



Chapter One 



L Kuzan 4:25 (43a-44a). 

2. Raavad, ad toe., Tikuney Zohar Chadash 1 12c, Peiiyah 21 3a, 
Pardes Rimonim 12:1, Mavo Shaarim 5:2:6, Etz Chaim, Shaar 
HaTzelem 2. 

3. Avot 5:L 

4. BaMidbar Rabbah 14:12. 

5. Rash HaShanah 32a, Megittah 21a, Zohar 1:15a, l:*6b, 
Tikuney Zohar 12 (27a). See note 185, 

6. Raavad, ad toe, , Peiiyah 49c. 

7 + Bahir 106, Barceloni, p. 106, Tikuney Zohar 30 (75a). 

8. See chapter 6, note 57. Cf. Isaac of Acco, ad loc.. p. 381/1. 

9, Barceloni, p. 107, Isaac of Acco, Otzar Chaim (Moscow, Ms. 
Guenzburg 775), p. 1 1 lb. Cf Bahir L47. There is thus a tradi* 



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350 5EFIR YETZIRAH 

tion that God placed the Sefer Yetzirah in the Torah, see Bet 
HaSefer 6:36, Chakamoni (in Warsaw, 1884 edition ) T 66a. Also 
see Otiot DeRabbi Akibn, end of Bet. 

10. Petivafi 2d, Recant i (Lvov, lgS0} h 1 8c, Iggeret HaTiyul, Chetek 
HaSodl. 

11. See R. Yosef Tzayyach 1 Evven HaShoham {Jerusalem, Ms. 8* 
416), p. 24a. The general formula for the array discussed helow, 
1;2, is J )n— K and 32 is one of the only powers of two that ful- 
fills this when n is an integer, 

12. Zohar 2:31a bottom. See Chotem Takfjnit (Amsterdam, 1865), 
p. 101, Hirsch on Psalms 119:35. Also see Ramban on Sefer 
Yetzirah (Jerusalem, Ms. S* 330: 2&, published by G. Scholem, 
Kiryat Sefer, Vol, 6, 1930), p. 402/2, Isaac of Acco on Sefer 
Yetzirah 283/3. 

13. See Raavad, Saadia, Ramban, ad loc. Also see Genesis 13:14. 
Exodus 1 5: II, 8:1 8, Leviticus 22:2 1 , Deuteronomy 17:8, Judges 
13:1 8 t Psalms 139:6, and commentaries ad toe, especially 
Hirsch. 

14. Zohar 3:193b. 

15. Ibid., PeUyah 30a, 

16. Bahir 141, Maarekhet Efohut (Mantua, 1558), p, 83b, Tikuney 
Zohar 52 (87a} fc 19 (4lb>, 

1 7. Bahir 1 4 L See Chagigah 1 3a, Ecclesiasticus 3:2 1 , Note that this 
is attributed to Ben Si rah, who, according to tradition, was 
involved with the Sefer Yetzirah. Regarding quoting from Ben 
Sirah, sec Ritva (in Eyitt Yaakov), Bava Batra 98b. 

)& Shaarey Orah 10. Also see Tikuney Zohar 42 (8 lb), 

19. Raziel 9b {22). 

20. See Ramban, p r 402, 

2 1 . Avot 4: 1 , Ari, ad ioc. , Shaar Maamarey Chazai {Tel A vi v, 1 96 1 ). 
p. 32a b 68a. Cf Rashi on Exodus 3 1 :3. 

22. Toldot Yaakvv Yosef Pekudey (Warsaw, 1 88 1 ), p, 78b, quoted in 
Sefer Baal Shew Tbv, Ki Tetze* note l. 

23. Tamid 32a. See note 37. 

24. Ibn Ezra on Exodus 3 1 :3, Hirsch on Genesis 41:33. 

25. Shaarey Orah 8, Also see Tur, Orach Chaim 5, 

26. Pardes Rimonim 27:27. See note 65, 

27. Berakhot 6 la, Tikuney Zohar 1 3b, 14b, 1 7a. See note 8. 

28. See chapter 6, note 57. Also see Zohar 2:201a. When the word 
Chakhmah is spelled out, it adds up to 6L3 t Raziei 1 2a. The 
letters of the word Chakhmah also spell out Koach Mah* "the 
strength of What," Zohar 3:28a, 3:235b, Tikuney Zohar 69 
(102b). The word Roach, however, has a numerical value of 28. 
When the final letters arc counted, there are 27 letters in the 



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Sotrs 331 

Hebrew alphabet. The number 28 h then, represents the Level 
above this, which cannot be expressed with letters, Peiiyah 2b. 

29. See Hirsch on Genesis 26:5, 47:22, Exodus 1 5:25, 

30, Thus, writing by erasing is called Chak Tokhou Git tin 20a. Shut- 
chart Arukh, Orakh Chaim 32: IS. Also see Otzar Chaim 202b, 
Maarekhet Eiohut L96b, Gia on 1:10. 

31, Cf Isaiah 10: L, etc. 

32, Zohar 1:15a, Zohar HaRakia, Mikdash Meiekh, ad Ioc., Shefa 
Tal 6 (Hanau, 1612), p, 45b ff., Emek HaMelekh (Amsterdam, 
1653), 6b, Likutey Torah (R. Shneur Zalman of Liadi), 
BeChukotai, 46b. Also see Razial 11a {27) T R T Chananel on 
Chagigah 1 3a. Cf Likutey Moharan 64, AJso see chapter 2 n note 
48, 

33. See Bahir 2, Ramban on Genesis 1:2. 

34. Yitzchak Sagi Nahor, Yitzchak DeMin Acco (301/27), Ramban 
A, a 1, R. Yehudah Chayit, Minchat Yehudah, on Maarekhet 
Ehhut, 1 96b. 

35. Peiiyah 2c. 

36, Sanhedrin 65b. See Introduction, note 97, 

37, See note 23. 

38, Baal Shem To v. quoted by R. Yesachar Ber of ZJotchov, 
M eraser Tzedek. Bereshit (Dubno t 179&); quoted in Sefer Baal 
Shem Tov, Re eh 8. 

39. See Bereshit Rabbah 12:9, Midrash Tehdlim I I4:3 t Ramban on 
Genesis 43:2Q T Tosefot Yom Jot on Succah 4:5 t HaGra, Yoreh 
Deah 276:19. Also see Rashi on Genesis 2:4 T Psalms 68:5, Mid- 
rash Tehiiiim 1 1 3:3, Eruvin 1 8b + Ibn Ezra on Exodus 15:2, Rashi 
on Exodus 17:16, Radak on Isaiah 26:4, Minchat Shai on 
Psalms 94: 7 T 1 18:5, Kuzari 4:3 (9a), Moreh Nevuchim 1:63. 

40. Eliezer of Wormes A, Ramban B t ad ioc.. from Sidra Rabba 
Dp Bereshit 1, in Batey Midrashoi 1: 19. 

4L Zohar 2; 104b, 2; 169b, 2:257b, 3:35a, Tikuney Zohar 2a; 
Shaarey Orah (Warsaw, 1883), pp. 33a, 35b. 

42. Ramban A, ad Ioc, 

43. Berakhot 31b. Cf I Samuel L:3_ 

44. See Shaarey Orah 2. Also see Peiiyah 2d t that this is Chakhmab 
and Binah. Actually, however, it is through the union of the two, 
which is through Ycsod. 

45. Bahir 171, Pardes Rimomm 15, See Radbaz, Magen David, 
Dalet, 

46. E\z Chaim, Shaar Arikh Anpin 9\ Cf. Zohar 2:4b, 3:131b, For 
various other opinions, see Rashi, Ibn Ezra, Ramban, Baaley 
Tosefot, ad toe,, Tosefot, Rash HaShanah 1 7b, "Shahsh, " Sefer 
Chasidim 250, 



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M2 SEFER YETZERAH 

47. Shaarey Gan Eden (Cracow, 1881 ), 2b. 

48. Tosefot, Kiddushin 3b "DeAssar," Kuzari 4; 3, Also see Leviticus 
19:2. 21:8, Isaiah 6:3, commentaries ad loc., VaYikra Kabbah 
24:9, 

49. Kuzari 4:25 (43b T 46b, 47a), 

50. Otwt DeRabbi Yitzchak (Zalkiev, 1801), p. 3b, 4a. Cf. Girtat 
££tt:(Hanau, 1 615), 54a. 

51. Tshuvot Rivash 157, Elemah Rabatai Eyjn Kot 1:2; Radbaz, 
Metzudot David 2, Shomer Emunim (HaKadmon) 2:64 + 65* 
Kisey Melekh on Tikuney Zohar 22 (64b) (Lublin, 1927), 94b 
#50. 

52. See Etz Chaim. Shaar Mochin DeTzetem 5,S, Shaar Dntshey 
HaTzelem 6, Shaar Kisey HaKavod 5; Nahar Ska font (in Etz 
Chaim, TeJ Aviv, I960, VoL 3) T p. 170ft; Gra on l:J (3a). See 
chapter 2, note 45. 

53. Zohar i3la. 

54. Shiur Komah 15 (Warsaw, 18*3), 28a. According to this, one 
could interpret BelimaK "without anything, 4 * to indicate that 
the vowels are written without Letters. Just like the Sefer 
Yetzirah Laier writes, "Three Mothers, AMSh," and ''Seven 
Doubles, BGD KPRT," here it writes, "Ten SefiroL without 
anything." In the time of the Sefer Yetzirah, there was no way 
of writing the vowels (see below, chapter 2:5). Regarding the 
assignment of the vowels to ihe SeflroL see Tikuney Zohar 70 
( 1 26a), Pardes Rimonim 1 9:4, 32:2. For other systems, see Ginat 
Egoz 66a Jf, Shoshan Sodot {Koretz, 1784), 74b; Perush 
Hafrikkud (Paris, Ms. 774), p. 38b # 

55. Rashi, ibn Ezra, Ralbag, ad ioc. r R_ Avraham ben Chiyah, 
Hegyon HaNefesh (Lei prig, 1860), 3a, Chayit 2&a. 

56. Chuiin S9a, Radak T Sherashim, "BLM." Raziel 8b, Pardes 
Rimonim 3:4, Ibn Janach, Sherashim, "BLM, " actually quotes 
Sefer Yetzirah 1:8. Also see Appendix 1, note 5, 

57. Cf Bachya on Deuteronomy 33:27. 

58. Yitzchak DiMin Acco, ad toe, 385^1, 

59. ELiezer of Wormes B on 2:1, Raavad on 1:10, Ramban B on 
1:10. Also see Abraham Abulafia, Mafteach ffaRayyon (Vati- 
can, Ms. 291), p. 30a. Cf Chakamoni 66c. 

60. Berakhot 55 a* Raavad on 1:10. See Introduction, notes 34, 86. 
6L See Midrash Tehttiim 1 19:36. C/ R. Schneur Zalman, Likutey 

Amarim, Shaar HaYichud VeHeEmunah 1 H 

62, Etz Chaim. Shaar HaKlipor 2; Likutey Arnarim, Sefer She! 
Benonim 3. 

63. Shabbat 55a, Bereshit Rabbah 81:2, Yerushalmi Sanhedrin 1:1, 
from Jeremiah JO: 10. See Rashi on lob 28:27, who quotes this 



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Hows 353 

in the name of Sefer Yetiirah. One reason why these letters are 
called Mothers may be because in Hebrew, mother is Em, 
spelled Alef Mem, the first two of these three fundamental let- 
ters. Saadia substitutes Umot, see Appendix I, note 14. 

64. See Minchai Shai. ad toe. Also see Berakhot 57a, BaMidbar 
Rabbah 10:4, Bahir 104 p Zohar 3:290b, Tikuney Zohar 69 
(106b). 

65. Raavad on 1:10, 2:l b Pardes Rimonim 27:27; Yitzchak Sagt 
Nahor 287, Yizchak DiMin Acco 383^5; Maarekhei Elohut 53b. 
For reason why they are not called "fathers,** see Or HaGanuz 
on Bahir 95, Shaar Gan Eden lOd. 

66. Yitzchak Sagi Nahor, line 13. 
6 7 . Pardes Rimonim 1 : J , 

68. See Bahir 124, 1 38, 188, 193. See Exodus 9:33, 17: 1 1, Leviticus 
9:22 T 16;21 T Numbers 27:23, Deuteronomy 34:9, 1 Kings 8:22, 
8:38, 2 Chronicles 6:12. 

69. Barcelom, p. 141, Pardes Rimonim 1:1, 

70. Cf Rashi on Genesis 15:10. 

71. See Long Version 6:8. 

72. Abraham Abulafia, Otzar Eden HaGanuz 4b, Mafteach 
HaRayyon 25b, See note 9. 

73. See Soiah 7:6, Bahir 109, 123, Shaar HaKavanot {Tel Aviv, 
1962), Vol. 2, p. 263. Cf Maarekhet Ehhut 1 47b. The tongue 
and palate are also male and female, see Etz Chaim, Shaar MaN 
U'MaD 1 3, p. 259, Shaar Rashbi (Tel Aviv, 1961), p. 296. The 
five and five also allude to the five phonetic families and the 
five primary vowels, see Perush HaNikkud 39b. See below 2:3. 

74. Abraham Abuiafia, Sefer HaCheshek (Jewish Theological Semi- 
nary, Ms. 1801), p. 9a. This is quoted in Shaarey Kedushah. Part 
Four (British Mutsum, Ms. 749), p. 12a. 

75. Ramban on Exodus 30:19. It is for a very similar reason that 
the hands are washed before prayer, see Berakhot 60b, Tshuvot 
Rashba 191. 

76. See Derashot HaRan #8 (Jerusalem, 1974), p. 128; Avodat 
HaKodesh 4:25. C/ Bereshit Rabbah 70:8. Also see Numbers 
7:89, 

77. Abarbanel on I Samuel 3:3. This may be the reason why God 
was said to "dwell among the Chtrubs,'* 1 Samuel 4:4 T 2 Samuel 
6:2, He is also said to "ride a Cherub," Psalms 18:1 1, C/ Tar- 
gum , ad toe. See Maarekhet Eiohui 163b, 

78. Avodat HaKodesh 4:25, Cf. Yoma 9b. 

79. Tikuney Zohar Chadash 1 1 2b, quoted in Parties Rimonim 23:20 
"Keruvim. " See Yoma 54a. 

SO. Cf Genesis 17-12, 



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354 SEFER VETZIRAH 

Si. Maharal, Tiferet Yisraei 2. Cf Ramban, Torat ifaAdam (in 
Kilvey Ramban, Jerusalem, 1964), Vol. 2, pp. 302, 303, 

82. The iocs represent the Universe of Beriyah, Pardes Rimomm 
1:1, Beriyah, however, is the level of Neshamah. 

83. See Shavuot ISa, Yad, Issurey Biyah 4:11, Yorth Deah IS 5: 4; 
Tikkuney Zohar 69 (1 !0a) T Sefer Chasidim 173. 

84. Shavuot 18b; ZoAar 1:90b, l:M2a, 1:155a, 3:43a, 3:56a. 3:246a, 
Zohar Chadash 1 1 a. 

85. See R. Yitzchak Santar, Sefat Emet (Berlin, 1 787). p, 44b, Also 
sec VaYikra Rabbah 31:4. Abraham AbuUfia also writes that 
the covenant of circumcision must precede that of the tongue, 
which is the Torah, see sources in note 72 r 

86. Barceloni, p, 14], Ramban B on 1:10, Pardes Rimomm 1: L See 
below, 2:6, 

S7. Ramban A. Ytzchak Sagi Nahor, ad Ioc, r Maarkekhet Elohut 
36a, 82b, Chayil 41a. 47a, I J 3a {Paz), Pardes Rimonim 1:5. 

88. Pardes Rimonim 3:1. 

S9. See Yitzchak Sagi Nahor t Yitzhak DiMin Acco (387), Ramban 
A. adioc. r Recanti on Exodus 31:3 (15c) t Pardes Rimomm 1:6, 
Abraham Abulafia states that this is related to the teaching that 
the Markavah can only be taught to one who is "wise, under- 
standing with his knowledge," Otzar Eden HaGanuz 7a. 

90. Choiem Takhnit, p. 80, Hirsch on Psalms 7; 10, Bet HaOnar p, 
1 86. Cf Ramban A t ad he. 

9 1 . Examples of th i s include Shaarey Orah; Pardes Rimon im , Shaar 
Arkhey HaKinuyim; Kehiiial Yaakow One can also use the dif- 
ferent divine names associated with the Sefirot, see below 6:6. 
One can also use the Tetragrammaton with the vowels associ- 
ated with the Sefirot, see note 54. This is discussed at length in 
my Meditation and Kahhatah. 

92. See Chotem Takhnir, p. 104. Both words. Barium and Chakar* 
occur in Jeremiah 17:10. 

93. Yitzchak Sagi Nahor, line 70. 

94. A similar expression is found in Git tin 89b. Regarding the 
meaning of the word Bori^ see Rashi, ad loc "VeHeEmidu, " 

95. 1 Kings 8:13. Isaiah 4:5, Daniel 8:1 1. Cf Psalms 33:14. 

96. See Sodey Razya (Bilgoiey, 1936), p. 32, 

97. CfBahir 24. 

98. Zohar 2:37a, Avodat HaKodesh 3:42, Shiur Komah 21. Cf 
Moreh Nevuchim 1:11. 

99. Ramban A, ad ion. (407/7}. See chapter 2 h note 76. 

100. This is based on Exodus 1 5:H, where the word Afakhon is read 
as Mekuvan. See Rashi, ad ioc.. Yerushatmi, Berakhot 4:5, This 
leaches that the Temple on high parallels the Temple (Bet 



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tores 355 

HaMikdash) below. The Temple is also called Makhon y see note 
95, Makhon is also one of the seven heavens, see chapter 4 T note 

101. Radac T ad loc. Also see Nefesh HaChaim 1:13, in Hagah 
"ULeFi. " 

102. See Mesechta Atziiut 5, Parties Rimonim 16. 

103. The Universe of Yetzirah parallels the six Sefirot: Chesed T 
Gevurah, Tiferet, Netzach T Hod, Yesod, Makhon is the sixth of 
the seven heavens, and hence, parallels Yesod 

104. Gra, ad loc. See Kehitat Yaakov (Lvov, 1870), Vol. 2, p. 22a. 
Also see Tikuney Zohar 15 a, b. Also sec note 109. 

105. This is obvious in the Saadia Version 2:1. 

106. Cf Psalms 111:10, Bahir 49, 103, 142. 

107. Chagigah 14a, Sanhednn 93b, Rashi on Exodus 30:3. 

108. Shaar HaPesukim (Tel Aviv, 1962), p. 5. Cf Shaarey Orah 
63b. 

109. Siddur HaAri: Siddur R, Shabatai (Lvov, 1866) T p. 67b; Siddur 
Koi Yaakov (Slavita, 1804), p. L56a, Siddur rt, Ashar (Lvov, 
1788)* p. 59a. See Shaar HaKasanot 2:208. 

110. Midrash TehiUim 31:6 (120a), 78:19(1 78b). 

1 1 1. Cf Chayit 41b, The Sefirot contain the essence of the Divine, 
see Pardes Rimonim 4:7, 

112. These exercises are actually described by R. Eliezar of Wormes, 
Sodi Razia, p. 4 1 . 

113. Rarnban B, ad loc., Yirzchak Sagi Nahor, line 75. 

114. ShaareyOrah 37b, 38a, 95a, Yitzchak DiMin Acco, p. 3SS. See 
note 109. 

115. Sanhedrin Ilia. 

1 16. Ibn Ezra on Genesis 37:5, Gra on Psalms 22:29, 

117. Cf Yerushalmi, Nedarim 9:1 (29a), Ramban on Deuteronomy 
22:6, Sefer HaChinuch 545, Shomer Emunim (HaKadmon) 2: L I 
no. 4, Nefesh HaChaim 2;4 T Also see Job 22:3 b Psalms 16:2, 
Radak, ad toe. 

1 18. Deuteronomy 26:15, Jeremiah 25:30, Zechariah 2:16. 

119. Radak ad foe,. Midrash Tehillim 90:10, Barceloni, p, 198. See 
Long Version 4:2. Also see Rereshu Rabbah 68:10, Shmot 
Rabbah 45 ;G, Rashi on Exodus 33:21. 

120. See Hirsch on Leviticus 19:26, Deuteronomy 33:27, Psalms 
90:1; Choiem Takhnit, p. 177. Others say that the root of the 
word is Eyin T meaning eye, since it is the place from which God 
looks down at the world, Ibn Ezra on Psalms 90: L 

12 L Isaiah 65:11. Psalms 83:18, 92:8, 132:14. See Yitzchak Sagi 

Nahor, line !00. Also see Chotem Takhnit, p. 200. 
122. See Bereshit Rabbah 3:7, Moreh Nevuchim 2:30, Ikkarim 2:18. 



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356 SEFER VETZIRAH 

123, Yitzchak Sagi Nahor, Ramban, Yitzchak DiMin Acco t ad loc,, 
Olzar Eden HaOanuz 8a. See Hekhaiot Rabatai 1: L. Cf Tosefot. 
Megiliahlh, "VeOd" 

L24. Bahir 88, Cf Chotem Takhnit, p. Ill; R. Shlomo Pappenheim, 
Yeriot Shlomo, Vol 2 (Roedelheim, 1831K P- 44a; Wertheimer, 
Shemot HaNirdaftm BaTanach {New York, 1953}, p. 136. Also 
see Targum, Radak, on Isaiah 21:5. 

125. Hekhalot 1:1. See Shaarey Orah 37b, 96a. 

126. Some commentators distinguish between Baiak and tbe more 
common Barak, which is the usual word for lightning. Some say 
that Bazak means a spark, Chakamoni, Radak on Ezekiel, and 
in Sherashim, Others say that it is sheet lightning, Barcelona p. 
J 32. See Rashi, Mahari Kara, Abarbanel on Ezekiel 1:14. In tal- 
mudical Language. Bazak means "to cast'" or "throw,™ see Bava 
Bat ra 73a, Sanhedrin 1 08b, The Talmud interprets Bazak to 
mean the sparks shooting out of an oven, Chagigah 13b. 

127. Bereshit Rabbah 50: h According to the first interpretation, the 
word Bazak comes from the word Zikah, meaning a meteor. A 
Zikah is also a bubbJc, Cf Donasti. The Kabbalisis also say that 
there is a heaven called ftazak, see Emek HaMetekh. Beriyah 12 
073a). 

128. Shekkei HaKodesh (London. 191 l} T p, 1 13, This is very much 
like the Abubya mentioned in Mekhilta on Exodus 20:4, Cf 
Barceloni, p. 14. This is an image seen in water, see Nedarim 
9b T Tosefta Naztr 4:7. Such images were worshipped, as we find 
in Avodah Zarah +7a> Yelamdenu, Acharey Mot % quoted in 
Yalkm Shimoni 62 on Judges 7:2, Arukh. Bavoa. Such reflections 
were possibly used for idolatrous meditation. 

129. Cf Job 28:3, Psalms 139:22. 

130. Cf Hirsch on Genesis -41: 1; Shemot HaNirdaftm SheBaTanach, 
p. 290; Chotem Takhnit, p, 198, The Zohar states that Ketz 
denotes evil, Zohar 1 :62b, En Chaim, Shaar HaYareach 5, 
When Acher became an apostate, he was said to have cut off 
(katzatz) his plantings. 

131. Shiomo Pappenheim, Yeriat Shiomo, Vol. I (Diherenfurth, 
17S4), p. 4b. 

132. R. Dov Baer. Maggid of Mezritch, Imrey Tzadikim (Zitirnar, 
1901), p. 23d. 

133. In Shaarey Tziort it is vocalized as Dabro. 

134. Midrash Lekach Tov lb. See Toldot Yaakov Yosef. Yitro (Warsaw, 
ISai), 54b, Tzaria (92b); Tzafnai Paaneach (33b), Keter Shem 
Tov (Kehot, 1972), p. 121. See Abraham Abulafia, Get 
HaShemot (Oxford, Ms. 1658), 95a; Yosef Tzayach, Evven 
HaShoham 94b. 



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;Voffj 137 

135. Raavad. They are also said to "run" with Metatroru and to "return'' 
with Sanodlfon, Zohar 3:229b. Yitzchak DiMin Acco, p, 392, 

136. Another possible instance Is Ezekiel 43:27, see Rashi, Radak T 
ad ioc. 

137. Bereshit Kabbah 50: L See Radak, Sherashim, RaT-aH. Cf 
Moreh Nevuchim 3:2. 

138. Isaiah 21: L h 29:6, Numbers 21:14, Targum J., ad loc.; Proverbs 
10:25, Nahum 1:3, Psalms S3: L 6. See chapter 6, note 46. 

139. The Targum translates this zsAiat, which means destructive, see 
Kelayim 7:7, Rambam, ad ioc.; Provens 10:25. Cf Radak, 
Sherashim, "Sof" Shemot HaNirdafim SheBaTanacK p. 243. 

140. Hirsch on Exodus 2:3. 

141. Cf Raziei 36a (123); Midrash Konen (in Ouar Midrashim), p r 
257. 

142. See Gra, Malbim, on Nahum 1:3, Psalms 83: 16, Hirsch on Exo- 
dus 2:3, The Midrash states that Sufah comes from the word 
Kasaf meaning "white," since it makes people blanch in fear, 
Shir HaShirim Rabbah on 3:4. 

1 43. See Abarbanel, ad toe. 

144. Chagigah 2:1. See introduction, note 72. 

145. Also see Jeremiah 4:13, See chapter 6 + note 46. Also see Saadia, 
Barceloni, here. 

146. This opposes the philosophers who call God the "First Cause." 
See Moreh Nevuchim 1:69. A cause-effect relationship can only 
exist within the framework of time T and God is above time, 

147. See Maarekhet Eiohut 36a. 

148. Cf. Vitzchak DiMin Acco, p. 388. 

149. To prove thai they all meet at a single point, we can imagine 
the three-dimensional continuum as the surface of a four- 
dimensional hypersphere. When the hypersphere becomes infi- 
nitel) large, the continuum becomes flat. Still, all outgoing lines, 
making "great circles** on the hypersphere, meet on its opposite 
side. Incidentally, this has nothing to do with the curved space 
of general relativity, since the entire discussion here assumes an 
idealized flat space. 

150. See Moreh Nevuchim, introduction to pan 2, No. 16; Amud 
HaAvodah Vikuach Shoe! U'Meshiv, No. 99. 

151. Cf Shabbat S9a T Bereshit Rabbah 4&;1 1. 

1 52. R. Moshe Luzzatto, Pilchey Chakhmah VaDaai No. 3; Shefa Tai 
3:1 (48a). 

153. Toidot Yaatov Yosef, VaYereh{\l*). 

154. Zohar 1 :4a. 

155. Bereshit Rabbah 50:2, Targum, Rashi, on Genesis 1 S;2 T Zohar 
1:127a. 



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158 SEFER YETZIRAH 

156. Pardes Rimonim 6:6- See note 150, 

J 57, Amud HaAvodak (Chernovitz, 1861), p. 83c. 

1 5*. Sefer Chasidim 530, Sodey Razia, pp. 9, 10. Cf. Zokar 1:101b. 

159. See Yafeh Sha'ah on En Chaim, Shaar Man U'MaD 4, p. 192. 

160. Nefesh HaChaim 1:10. 
16K See Shiur Komah 23. 

162, The Mezritcher Maggjd uses a similar idea with regard to Israel, 
see Maggid Devarav LeYaakov (Jerusalem, 1971), No. I, 123. 

163, Zohar 1 :50b, Botril on 2:3. Cf. Emunot VeDeyoi 6:4. Also see 
Maarhekhet Elohut 36b. 

164, See Gra, adioc. See Shekkel HaKodesK pp- 123-124, The Zohar, 
toe. ci/., also indicates thai one should contemplate the flame. 

165, Gra, ad toe. This is the Chashmal seen by EzekieL 

166, Onar Eden HaGanuz 10a, 

J 67, Shaarey Orah 68b. This is the level of Binah consciousness* 
16*. Tikuney Zohar 17a, 

169. Moreh Nevuchim 1:58, ATujiori 2:2. Ikknrim 2:22. 

1 70. Thus, music was often used to attain a meditative slate, see Yad. 
Yesodey HaTorah 7:4, based on 1 Samuel 10:5. 2 Kings 3:15, 
However, the kabba lists write, that the music would be stopped 
once they reached the desired state. See Shaarey Kedushah, Part 
Four, p. 15b. 

171. See note 27. 

172. See Abraham Abulafia, Sefer HaTzeruf{ Paris, Ms, 774), p. lb. 
Also see Razed 14b (40), Get HaShemot 95b, Evven HaShoham 
I 1 9b, Cf Ramban A, Yitzchak DiMin Acco, p. 392, OtzarEden 
HaGanuz I la, Zohar 3:288K 

173. Chagigah 14b. See Otzar Chaim pp. 72b N BSa a 200a. 

174. This, apparently, was the experience of R. Chaim Vital, see 
Shaar HaGilguiim (Tel Aviv, 1963). pp. L40 p 158. 

1 75. At the end of a meditation, Abulafia thus advises the initiate to 
■*eat something, drink something, smell a pleasant fragrance, 
and let your spirit once again return to its sheath* Chayay 
Oiam HaBah (Jewish Theological Seminary, Ms. 2 158), p, 1 8b, 
in A. Jellinek, Philosophic und Kabbalah (Leipzig, 1854), p. 
45, 

176. Cf Zohar 1:65a, 

177. R. Yehudah AlBotinU Sutam HaAliyah 10 (Jerusalem, Ms. 8" 
334) T quoted in G, Scholem, Kitvey Yad BaKabbaiaK p. 22*. 

\ 78. Moreh Nevuchim 3:49, 

179. Pardes Rimonim 3:5. However, others say that this is 
Chakhmah, Cf Chayit 177b, Also see Raziel 10a (23) T Sodi 
Razia p. 1 , Mafteach HaRayyon 3 lb, OtzarEden HaGanuz I lb; 
1 4b, Kvzari 4;25 (57b, 58a) says that this is pure spirit. 



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Soles 3tt 

180. See Recant i, ad toe. Also see Numbers 24;2 T 1 Samuel 10:10, 
11:6. Cf 1:2. 

1SK See Chakamom\ R. ELiezer of Wormes (3b), Gra, ad for. Also 
see RazieL 10a (23), 22a (73), Compare this lo £fz CAtiiirt, Shaar 
TaNTA 5 t from Psalm 23:31, Nefesh HaChaim 1:15. 

1 82. It is thus taught that Yesod of Arifch Anpin (Keter) extends into 
Yesod of Zer Anpin, which is the true Yesod, Mavo Shaarim 
5:1: 16. Alio see Elz Chaim, Shaar Derushey ABYA 1 (298b), Cf 
Petiyah 2d, 

1 83. See Gra, ad ioc. Cf. Bahir 141, Also see Sefer HaRazim (Ed. M. 
Margolius* Jerusalem,! 967), p. LOS, line 23-24, quoted in 
Temirin, p, 72. Also in Shoshan Yesod Oiant (Sasoon, Ms. 290), 
pp. 61-7 1. 

184. Tshuvot Rashba 5:51. Cf Bahir 4. 

185. Rosh MaShanah 32a. See note 5. 

186. Ibid. See R. Dov Baei\ Mafigid of Mezritch, Or Torah (Kehot, 
New York, 1972). p. 2a. 

1*7, Also see Raavad on 2:3, RazieL 10b (25), Sulah HaAUyah (Jeru- 
salem. Ms, 8° 1302), pp. lib, 12a, quoted by G. Scholem in 
Kiryat Sefer 22:166. 

188. Rashi on Exodus 31:3 state* that Knowledge {Daat) is Ruach 
HaKodesh. Kabbalistically, Daat is the confluence between 
Chakhmjih Eind Binan. Although Ruach HaKodesh is derived 
from Keter, it is manifest in Daat. See Etz Chaim, Shaar 
DrusheyABYA 1, 

L 89. See Yitzchalt Stanov, Sefat Emet, p, 44b. Some interpret the 
first Ruach io be spirit, and the second to be air, see Kuzari 
4:25 (SSa), Raiiei 1 lb (29), 1 2b (32). Also see Chayit 19b, 53a. 
Others say that they are Chakhmah and Binah, see 
commentaries. 

190. Etz Chaim, Shaar HaAkudim 8, 5, 

191. See Etz Chaim, Shaar Atik 4, Shaar Seder ABYA [ (356), 

192. See Ari on Sefer Yetzirah. Also see Likuiey Amarim, Shaar 
HaYichud VeHeEmunah 4 (79b). 

J 93. See Donash. 

194. Tikuney Zohar L7a. 

195. Pardes Rimonim I0:5 h Kalach Pitchey Chakhmah II, 

196. It also means writing see Job 19:24. Also see Pardes 16:9, 27:27, 
Yitzchak Sa&i Nanor, line 138. 

197. We thus find, "God's** voice carves (chotzev) flames of fire" 
(Psalms 29:7), There is an indication that this word might indi- 
cate a synesthetic process, Cf Mekhilta on Exodus 20:15. See 
below, 2:6. 

198. Gn^adtoc, 



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160 SEFER YETZIRAH 

199, Etz Chaim, Shaar TaNTA 5 (p. 70). Cf Bahir 1 19, Zohar 1 :32b, 
Otzar HaKavod (Sat mar, 1926), p, 37a, Recanti 3b, A similar 
idea is found in Ecclesiasticus 24:25-31. Also see Razief 12b 
(33), 14a {39), Maarekhet Efohat J2 (I67b> h Chayit L9b, I65b t 
Yitzchak Sagi Nahor, line 142, 

200, Sh'mot Rabbah 15:22. 
2Q1. Raavad, ad lac. 

202. See comment on 1:12, 

203. Taanii 7a, Cf. Shir HaShirim Rabbah 1:19. 

204. Hence, a person cannot prophecy at will, sec Yad, Yesodey 
HaTorah 7:4, 5. 

205. Kazan 4:25 (58b). Also see Hegyon HaNefesh 3b. Cf. Bereshit 
Rabbah 4:l t 5:2, Sh mot Kabbah 15:22, Midrash Tehiitim 104: 7 T 
from Psalms 104:3; Yerushalmi, Chagigah 2:1 (8b), Mekhilta on 
Exodus 15:11, 

206. Bahir 2, Ramban on Genesis 1:2, Hegyon HaNefesh 2b + 3ft; 
Raziel 12a (32>, Chayit 55b, Etz Chaim, Shaar TaNTA 5 {p. 70}. 
This is intermedia le between actuality and existence, see 
Raavad, introduction to Sefer Yetzirah 2a, 

207. Thus, in the Tzimtzu tit-constriction, the center dot h which is 
Malkhut, came into existence before the other Sefirot, see Etz 
Chaim, Drush Egofim VeYashar 2, 

208. Ramban, ad toe. Also see Rashi, ad toe, Cf Chayit 1 9b, forties 
Rimonim 3:5, 

209. Chayit 19b, 20a, Emek MaAfelekh 6b, c; Etz Chaim, toe cit.; 
Also sec Raavad of 2:4 h Raziel 12b (32), L4a (39). 

210. Pardes Rimonim 3:5. 

2 LI. Firkey Rahbt Eliezer 3, Sh'mot Rabbah 13:1, Cf. Yoma 54b t 

Bereshit Rabbah 1:6. Raziei 14a. 
2L2. Cf Rashi. Malbim, ad toe. , Shabbat 55b, Bereshit Rabbah 98:4. 

See my Waters of Eden, (NCSY, New Yorfc, 1976k P^ 62. See 

Pirkey Rabbi Eliezei\ Etz Chaim. foe. cit. 

213. Bahtr 165. 

214. Etz Chaim. ioc cit. 

215. Raavad, Otzar HaShem, ad /or., but also see Bava Kama 4b. 

216. Cf Saadia Gaon, p. 125. 

217. Radak, Ibn Ezra, ad toe. 

218. Raiiei Mb (29); TachkamonL Raavad, Otzar HaShem ad toe., 
Barcelona p, 197. See Betza 4:6 (33a), Rashi, ad loc., "Min 
HaMayim," Yad, Yom Tov 4:1, Bahtr 188. 

2 1 9. Cf. BaMidbar Rabbah 14:12. 

220. Shmot Rabbah 15:22. See Zohar 1:32b, 1:103b, Radal on 
Pirkey Rabbi Eliezer 4:3. 



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S'otes Ml 

22 h Chagigak l4b T Rashi, ad Ioc. r Otzar Chaim 2a. See Hekhaht 

Rabatai 26;2 T that the experience is like being washed by thou- 
sands of waves of water Also see Pardes Rimonim 23: 13 {27b) T 
from Tikuney Zohar 40 (BOb). 
22 2 r See Rashi on Genesis 1:1, Noam Elimeiekh, Chayay Sarah 
(Lvov, 1 888), p. Lib. 

223. Kuzari 4:25 (5£a). 

224. See Derekh HaShem 1:5, 4:6:13. 

225. See Malbim on Ezekiel 1:1. 

226. See Parties Rimonim 23:22 "Saraf" KehiUat Yaakov "Saraf {23^ 

227. Sodi Razia, p, 8 T Raavad* Introduction to Sefer Yetzirah 4c T 
Kuzari 4;3 (22b), Ramban on Genesis 1 8:2, Exodus 3:2 T Num- 
ber 22:31. 

228. /tazj>M2a(3I). 

229. Bahir 30. 

230. See Raavad, Ramban B, on 3:2: Etz Chaim, Shaar TaNTA 7. 

23 L. Shaar HaKavanot Kavanot Saanuim (Tel Aviv, 1962), p. 3 10; Sid* 

dur HaAri. Siddur R. Shabatai, p. LOGa, Siddur R Asher, p. 3 Si. 

232. Cf Zohar 3:243b. 

233. The Ten Sefirot were originally derived from five, and this is 
why they were later divided into five Panzufim. See Etz Chaim. 
Shaar HaMeiakhim 5, p. 15 1. 

234. See Otzar Eden HaGanuz 20a, Mafieacn HaRayyon 31b. 

235. See Etz Chaim, Shaar Akudim 5, Shaar Penimiut VeChitzoniut 
10, 12. Regarding the five levels, see Bereshtt Rabbah 14:9, 
Devarim Rabbah 2:9, Shaar HaGilgtdim I . 

236. It is thus on the level of Atzilm, which is called "nothingness," 
Therefore, Beriyah, the world below it + is called "something 
from nothingness." 

237. Suiam HaAUyah 7 (8a} r Cf Sefer HaCheshek 22a, Otzar Eden 
HaGanuz p. 1 6, See below h 2:6. 

238. See Raavad, Moshe Botril, ad loc. 

239. See Oxford, Ms. 1531, p. 45a (bottom), quoted in G. Scholem, 
Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism, p. 36 1, note 42. Also see note 43. 

240. See note 220. 

241. Sec Abraham Abulafia, Chayay Oiam Ha Bah 18a, quoted in 
Phiiosophie und Kabbalah, p. 45 T where such a method is 
described in detail. This is also related to the method of the 
Hakhafot Rabatai, Chapter* 17-26. Also see Sodi Razia, p. 32. 
Cf Chapter 6, note 37. 

242. This technique is described in Shaarey KedushaK Pan Four, p, 
16a. See chapter 6, note 37, 

243. Otzar Chaim 107a, b. 



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M2 SEFER YETZERAH 



Chapter Two 



1. Yitzchak Sagi Nahor, line 24 3, 

2. Fesikta 167a. Cf Rosh HaShanah L7a. Sec Aval 2:8. 

3. /to/ 1:6. See Likuiey Moharan 2*2. 

4. See Chakamoni, Barceloni, on 3:1. See Etz Chaim. Shear 
Derushey HaTzeiem 2, p. 1 3b. 

5. RaavacL ad loc. 

6. Yitzchak Sagi Nahor, line 262, Otzar HaKavod 39b. Regarding 
"pillars of Chashmal," see Raziel 1 4b (40), and compare this to 
below t 2:6. 

7. Chagigah 1 3b <top>. See Or HaSekhel 4:2 {48b). 

8. Otzar Eden HaGanuz 54a, 

9. See Sefer Baal Shem Tow Bereshit J 3 1- J 35. 

10. Zohar 2:54a. See note 54. 

11. See Rashi, Yalkut Reuveni, on Enodus 2:14, Sh'mot Rabbah 
1:30. See Shaar HaPesukim. Likutey Torah HaAri, ad loc. 

12. Shoshan Sodot 72b, Also see Otzar Eden HaGanuz 6b + The 
Zohar $&y$ that these represent the 25 letters in the verw t "Hear 
O Israel , , , w (Deuteronomy 6:4), Zohar 2:1 2b, 2: 11 7a, 2: 1 39b, 
Tikuney Zohar 6 (22a). 

1 3. See note 63, 

14. See Or HaSekhel 7:3 (94), Get HaShemot 90a, Chayit L9K See 
below, 4:3. 

1 5. See Saadia, Introduction to Sefer Yetzirah* Eighth Theory, p. 30. 
Also see Introduction, note 34 r 

16. See chapter I, notes 237, 242. 

1 7. Chakak means to write, see chapter 1 , note 3 1 . See Otzar Eden 
HaGanuz pp, 160-162, 

1 8. Beginning of Suiah HaAliyah. Cf. Or HaSekhel 1; \ <90a) + 

19. Evven HaShoham 12a, Sheirit Yosef (Vienna, Ms, 260), p> 2b, 
Regarding ihe ciphers, see Pardes Rimonim 21:13, 30:5. 

20. Pardes Rimonim 27:27, Elz Chaim> Shaar Drushey HaTzefem 
2, p, 12, Shaar Rashbi 297. Zohar 2: 1 23a supports the assump- 
tion lhai the first two are the gutturals and palatals. 

2 1 . See Saadia, Eliezer of Warmes, ad loc., Tikuney Zohar 1 32a> 
Zohar 3:228a, etc. Donash has a third ordering, where the last 
two are interchanged, sec note 36, 

22. Elz Chaim, toe. cit. Cf. Shaar Ruach HaKodesh p, 1 13, 
23^ Shaarey Zohar on Sofrim 9:1- 

24. Shabbat l04a t Megillah 2b, Bereshit Rabbah 1:15, SaMidbar 
Rabbah IS: 17, Tanchuma, Korach 12, Pirkey Rabbi Eiiezer 48. 



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.Voftr 363 

Cf. Chayit 19a. The fact thai these le tiers are not mentioned in 
Sefer Yetzirah may be indicative of its extreme sntiquiiy. 

25. Etz Chaim. Shaar Raskbi. foe ciL See Barcelona p. 140 T Gra on 
1:3 No + 2, 

26, Tikuney Zohar. Introduction <4b) T 70 (1 35b). 
2 7, Pardes Rimonim 21:1. 

28. Tikuney Zohar 1 4a, R, ELiezar of Wormes 4b, Efr Chaim, Shaar 
TaNTA 3, p. 66, Cinaf f^m 24c. 

29. Also see chapter l t note 54. 

30. Pardes Rimonim 27:27. 

31. Hence, "a woman's voice is a 'sexual organ/" Berakhot 24a, 
ZoAdr 3: 142a. 

32. Pardes Rimonim. far, cit ri Etz Chaim, Shaar Derushey 
HaTzefem 2, Shaar Rashbi p T 297 r 

33. Kisey Meiekh on Tikuney Zohar 4b (11a). According to the 
Tikuney Zohar 1 4a, ihe order of Pituchey Chotem parallels the 
five phonetic families in alphabetical order. 

34. Another reason for this order is because they add up to "Meiekh, 
Mafakft, Yimlokh. " See Shaar HaKavanot, p* 1 09a. 

35. Etz Chaim, Shaar Ha Yareach 5(1.1 S3), Pardes Rimonim 13:7. 
Also see Yonat EUm^ quoted in Kehiiat Yaakov, Vol. 2, p. 3a. 

36. Tikuney Zohar 1 4a. Significantly, the families then come out 
like the reverse of Don ash's order. See note 21, 

37. Raavad, ad loc. See Emek HaMeiekh 6b. 

38. Otzar Chaim 107a. 

39. Saadia B, ad foe, 

40. Acronym of R. Yitzchak be Asher, died 1 132. Scholem, in his 
Kabbalah and its Symbolism, p, 186, claims that this acrostic 
stands for R. Yishmael ben EEiiha. In British Museum, Ms* 754, 
the abbreviation is R. Tz., which Scholem surmises may be a 
certain R. Tzjidok. 

41. Saadia B, far, at, Emek HaMeiekh 9c sunUariy writes that if one 
says them backward, he will be swallowed up by the earth. 

42. Chakamoni, Pardes Rimonim 30:5, R. Eliezar of Wormes. pp. 
5a. l7bfT; Otzar Eden HaGanuz 39a, Otzar Nechamad on 
Kuzari 4:25 {6 lb), Evven HaShoham 154b, Sherit Yosef 9a, 
Shoshan Yesod Oiam No. 454 T p T 207, 

43 . Raavad, ad toe, Abulafta presents this system in the name of R. 
Yitzchak Bardashi, see Otzar Eden HaGanuz 1 6b, 37a: Appen- 
dix 5, notes 10, 39, Also in Koi Yehudah on Kuzari 4:25 <61a). 
The fact that each array contains 231 pain, which is 21 times 
22, with the letters AL in the middle is alluded to in the verse, 
"Only in You, O God {Ach Bach EFT (Isaiah 45:14), see Zohar 
1:33b, commentaries ad toe., Gra on 6:4. 



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3M SEFER YETZIRAH 

44. Emek HaMetekh 4a ff. {see Appendix III), VaYakhef Moshe 
(Zolkiev T 1 74 1 > + p. 7a, Shaar Gan Eden 12a, Pri Yitzchak (in 
Sefer Yetzirah. Warsaw, 1884), Vol. 1 H page 27a, b. The original 
source apparently is Emek HaMelekh, and he virtually para- 
phrases R. Eliezer of Wormes in his formula for creating a 
Golem see note 61. 

45. See chapter I, note 52, Shear Gan Eden I lc. 

46. Ginat E$oz 55b, Otzar Chaim 1 08a, Perush HaNikkud 48b, 49a, 
Evven HaShoham 154a, 177b, Tzarpr HaChaim (Jews College, 
London, Ms, 318), p, I0a n Gan Yah 25b. See Chayay Otam 
HaBah 22b. 

47. Bereshit Kabbah 1:4, Gan Yah, foe. tit. 

48. Emek HaMelekh 6a, Limudey Arzilut (Munkatch, 1897), 3a, 
22a; Mikdash Melekh on Zohar 1:16b (Zolkiev, 1794), p. 31b, 
R. Shneur Zalman of Liadi, Likutey Torah. Hosafot on VaYikra 
53b. See chapter I, note 32. 

49. Emek HaMetekh 6b, Limudey Atzdut 3a. The sum of the four 
names Ah {12) Sag (63) Mah {45) and Ben (52) also equals 232. 
It may be thai the arrays of the later KabbaJisis relate to the 
Sefirot themselves, while those of the earlier Kabbalists relate 
to the letters. This would resolve the difference between the two 
systems, 

50r Donash, Barcetoni, p. 20& 

51. See Saadia, Barceloni, ad toe. These mention the reading, but 
reject it. 

52. R. Eliezar of Wormes ad be., p. 5a. He also cites the previous 
method in the name of his father, R. Yehudah ben Kolvnimos. 

53. Raavad on 2:5, from Yoma 76a. See Bet Levi, Emek Halacha, 
ad itx. t quoted in Mixzpah Eitan, who give other reasons for this 
number. An elaborate complex calculation is also presented in 
Ateret Rash on Eyin Yaakov, These commentaries obviously 
were not aware of what the Raavad writes here. 

54. Chayay Otam HaBah 4b, quoted in Scholem T Kitvey Yad 
BaKabbaiah, p. 25, Otzar Eden HaGanuz 162b (bottom), 
Shaarey Tzedek (Jerusalem, Ms, 8" 14$), pp. 66b, 67a, quoted 
in Kiryat Sefer 1: 135; Sulam HaAiiyah 10 (Jerusalem, Ms. 8* 
334). p. 98a h quoted in Kitvey Yad Bakabbiah, p. 228. Cf. Psalms 
23:5, 45:8, 109:18, 133:2. J t may be more than coincidence ihai 
the first two letters of the Hebrew word for oil, Shemen* are 
Shin and Mem. see above, note 10, 

55. Otzer Eden HaGanuz, p, 34a, Sefer HaTzemf 10a, Grnai Egoz 45b 
(with errors). This is also the system presented by R. Moshe Botril, 
who apparently attributes it to Hai Gaon, In Otzer Eden HaGanuz, 
Abulatia also apparently attributes it to an earlier source. 



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56. Ofr^r Effe/i HaGanuz 38a, On pp, 75b, 76a, he apparently 
speaks of the 705, 432 combinations of 1 1 letters, 

57. Also see Psalms 37:4, Job 22:26, 27:10. For other sources, see 
Yotzer Or, p. 56. 

58. R. Barukh Tar£omL Mafxechot HaKabalah p. 230, Sefer 
HaTzeruf p, la t £vv^n HaShoham,. p. 177b T Sheirit Yosef p. 
168a, Tzaror HaChaim, p. 10a. 

59. See Barceloni, p, 104, 

60. Commentary on Sefer Yerzirah 4b* 15b. Also see RaavadL ad 
loc, Shoshan Yesod Otam, pp. 100, 199, 203. Cf. Ibn Ezra on 
Isaiah 26:4, Psalms 68:5. 

61. R. Eliezar of Wormes, ad toe, 1 5b, Erne k HaMeiekh 9c. The lat- 
ter is translated into Latin in Knorr von Rosen roth, Kabbala 
derjudam II (actually III); Liber Sonar restitutus (5ulzbach T 
1684), pp. 220-1. 

62. See Introduction, notes 80-82. Also see She'eht HaLoken 97 
(Oxford, Ms. Neubauer 2396), p. 53a, quoted by Scholem in his 
Kabbalah and its Symbolism, p. 1 88, note l. There also appears 
to be a similarity between this and the Partzufim mentioned in 
the Zoharic literature and in the writings of the Ari, a relation- 
ship which should be more thoroughly explored. 

63. Or HaSekhet 8:3 ( tOSbjfD quoted in Pardes Rimonim 21:1. Also 
quoted in Suiam HaAliyah 9 <95a fT r ) T in Kiryat Sefer 22:167 # 
The Rarnak writes regarding Abulafia's teaching: "This is either 
a direct tradition, given over from mouth to mouth, or else it 
was revealed by a Maggid," 

64. In Pardes Rimonim 21:2 there is specific mention regarding 
using other Letters with a similar system, 

65. See Raavad, ad ioc. 

66. Sanhedrin 38a n Tosefta 8 (end), Yerushalmi 4:9 (23b) T 

67. Chagigah 1 2b, Zohar l:S2a + l:186a t 1:231 a, 

68. Ibn Ezra, ad foe, , Chovoi HaLevavot, end of Shaar HaBechinah 
4 r 

69. Raavad* ad toe. 

70. Donash, p. 6S. 

71. Pardes Rimonim 9:1. 

72. Bahir 2, Rashi on Genesis 1;2, We thus see that Ben Zomah sat 
confounded {Tahah), Bereshit Kabbah 2:4, See Appendix I, 
notes 4-6, 

73. Bachya 3c, Pardes Rimonim 3:5 t 23:22 t Etz Chaim, Shaar MqN 
U'MaD 10 (248b), Shaar Maamarey Chazal 1 5b. 

74. Zohar 3:27a. Cf Bahir 135. Also see Notiar Chesed on Avot 5:7, 

75. Raavad on 1:1 (beginning). 

76. Imrey Tzadikim (Zitimar, 1901), p. 19c, See Chayoy Olam 



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364 SEFER YETZIRAH 

/fa£tf/i 21b. quoted in Kitvey Yad BaKabbalah, p. 28. Also see 
Surtaf HaRan 40. 

77. We find a similar concept in the Zohar. that only Moses could 
assemble the Tabernacle, Zohar 2:238b, Likutey Moharan 2:6. 
This is also meant in meditative sense. 

78. Emek HaMeiekk 9c, in his description of how a Golem is 
made. 



Chapter Three 



1. This is the Last of Rabbi IshmaeL's thirteen Middot see begin- 
ning of Sifra, These Thirteen Midot are also in the 
prayerbook, 

2. Shavuot 26a . It is significant that in the opening statement in 
the Bahir {#l) h Rabbi Nehunia ben HaXana also makes use of 
this dialectic. 

3. E(- Chaim. Shaar Pirkey HaTzetem 5, p. 336a. 

4. See above, 1:2. Also see Likutey Shas (Ari), p. 27a; Elz Chajm, 
Shaar TaNTA 6, p, 72. 

5. The same term is used by Ben Sirah: "In what is mystical 
{muphte} for you, do not probe.' 1 See chapter I, note 17. 

6. Raavad, Ramban B, ad toe. r En Chwm t Shaar TaNTA 7. 

7 r Kehiiat Yaakov, "AMSh" (1 4a). Also see Pardee Rimonim 23:1. 
'AMSh. " Cf. Otzar Eden HaGanuz 54b, 70a. 

8. Noam Eiimeiekh t Bo (36). This may be the reason why the Sefer 
Yeizirah can be read in both the third person and in the impera* 
live. It is both a mystical account of creation, and an instruction 
manual how to parallel it, 

9. C/ Rashi, Ibn Ezra, on Exodus 10:21. 

10. See Midrash Lekach Tov t Sechel Tov t ad foe. Also see Parties 
Rimoninu toe. cit. 

L L Donash, p. 20, Ibn Ezra on Ecclesiastes 7:19, Radak, Mikhhi 
(Lyk, 1842), p. 72, Also see Donash T p, 45, 48, 

12. Saadia B. ad toe. This resembles a technique of the Indian 
faquirs, see Sefer MaChaim, Munich, Ms. 207 t ff. 1 0d- 1 1 a (writ- 



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.Votes 367 

ten in 1268), Cambridge Ms, Add. 643.1, f. 9a, quoted in M. 
Guckmann, Geshichie de$ Erziiehungswesens und der Cultur der 
Judm / (Vienna, 1880), p. 169; Menashe Grossberg, notes on 
Donash, p. 8; G, Scholem, Kabbalah and its Symbolism, p. 183. 

13. Sec Introduction note 99. 

14 H Raavad, Ramban, ad loc. Cf Maarackhet Elohut 1 75a, b. 

15. Sec Yitzchak Sagi Nahor, line 247. 

1 6. Zohar 2:235b, Tikuney Zohar 70, 1 40b. Cf. Likutey Moharan 3. 

17. See Raavad, introduction (2d) T Chayii 9b, Parries Rimonim 
2:1. 

18. Kuzari 4:25 (58a T b) thus states that the "fire" here is the ether 
{al atar). The word Avir also refers to space, as in Git tin 8:3, 
Ohaht 3:3, 

19. Pardes Rimonim 9:3. 

20. Raziel L Lb (30). 

21. Bahir&S. 

22. Tikuney Zohar 4 (1 9b). Cf Raziel 1 lb (29 b 30). 

23. Berakhot 6b. See Kehilat Yaakov, "Ravayah"{\ la), 

24. Sh'mot Rabbah 51:7. Cf. Tanchuma, Pekudey 8. 

25. See my article, "On Immortality and the Soul," Intercom (Asso- 
ciation of Orthodox Jewish Scientists, New York, May, 1972), p, 
6. Also see Toldot Yaakov Yosef Bo {5M\ KeterShem Tov 108. 
Cf Kedushat Levi on Aval 2:5. 

26. Deuteronomy 11:14. See Radak, Sherashim, "YRH," Commen- 
taries on Proverb* 1 1:25. 

27. Gra ad loc. f Elz Chains, Shaar TaNTA 6, 7. 

28. Mafteach NaRayyon 26a, Cf Donash n pp. 60, 68, 

29. Raavad, Chakamont ad loc Raziel 11a (27). Cf. Avodat 
HaKodesh, Yichud 1 8. Also see Kehiiat Yaakov, "Geviyah. " 

30. Barceloni, ad foe, Tzioni (Lvov, 1S82), p. 4c. 

31. Cf Zohar 3:223a, Pardes Rimonim 23:3, "Gaviyah. " 

32. Ramban B, ad loc. Pardes Rimonim, loc. cii. 

33. Negaim 6:7, 

34. Tosefot Yom Tov, ad ioc., Pri Yitzchak here, Pardes Rimonim, 
loc. cit. 

35. Ramban, Saadia, ad loc. 

36. Tikuney Zohar 1 7a. See chapter I, note 195. 

37. Pri Yitzchak ad loc., Etz Chaim, Shaar TaNTA 1. 

38. Minachot 29b, Barcelona p. 284. Note thai this is stated by Rav 
Yehudah in the name of Rav, see Introduction, note 82. The 
statement that the letters ShOTNeZ GaTz must have crowns, is 
also that of Rava, the maker of the Golem in the Talmud. 

39. Ohev Yisrael. VeEtChanan (Zitimar, 1863), p. SOc. 

40. Etz Chaim, Shaar TaNTA 1. 



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368 5EFER YETZtRAH 

41. Chamai Gaon. Sefer Hatyyun. in Likutim MeRav Hai Gaon 
(Warsaw, 1798), p, 37b T and in A. Jellinek, Ginzey Chakhmat 
HaKabbatah, p. ID; Kuzari 4:3 (8b); Abraham Abulafia, 
Mafteach HaShemot (Jewish Theological Seminary, Ms. 1897), 
p. 5Sa, Or HaSekhel 4:2 (50b). Ibn Ezra on Exodus 3:L5 P Or 
Eynayim (Lvov 1 1886), 9b. In these sources, the Name is spelled 
in alphabetical order AHVY. it is possible thai the original term 
here was Avyiah (AVYH), but when the Greek derived Avir 
became popular, the latter term was inadvertantly substituted, 

42. R. ELiezar of Wormes, p, 5<L 

43. Raziet I Lb (2£). Cf. Kol Yehhudah on Kuzari 4:25 (64b). 

44. Sotah 1 7a, Rashi, ad ioc. "Shekhinah," 

45. Kembot 64b, Kol Yehudah on Kuzari 4;25 (56b). 

46. See/tazjW Mb (29, 30). 



Chapter Four 



J. AJso mentioned in Zohar 3; 25 5b, Tikuney Zohar 69 <l04b), 70 
(128b). 

2. Radak, Mskhhl 48a, 57a; Julio Fuemio> Concordantiae 
(Liepzig, 1840), p. 1363, R. Aaron states that there are only 
seven cases, see note on Mikhtot^ pp. 48a, 57a, Also see R, 
Moshe Kimchi, Mahalach Shevilei HaDaat (Hamburg 1785), 
No. 10, R. Aaron (ben Moshe) ben Asher, Dikdukey 
MaTaamim, Resh 7 (Leipzig 1838), RA, Dablmesh, Makney 
Avraham. Also see Ben Yehudah, Milin, "Resh t " "Dagesh, ' Otzar 
Yismei "Dagesh, " Cf, Radak, Minchat Shai y on 1 Samuel 1 :6 T 
etc. 

3. The Septuagiirt thus used a double R in Sarah, see Gesenius 
Grammar (London, no date), p. 43. 

4. Saadia, pp. 79, IIS, 116; Donash, p. 21; Barcelona p. 231, 
Mikhtoi p r Sib, 

5. Rosh HaShanah J la. b. Sanhedrin 12a, Yeruskaimt Fesachim 
4:2 (26b); Yad, Kiddush tfaChodesh 5:3, Sanhedrin 14:12. 

6. Sasoon, Ms. 507, See Ohel Dawid (Oxford, 1932), pp< 22-2 3 1 
plate 2> Soiheby Catalogue, "Thirty- Eight Important Hebrew 
and Samaritan Manuscripts from the collection of the late 
David Solomon SaswrT, (Sotheby, Park Bemet & Co + , Zurich, 
November 5, 1975), No. 6, plates on pp. 15, 16. Also see 
Chanoch YaIon T Pirkey Lashon {Jerusalem, 1971) T pp r 176 T 



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200-301- Alejandro Diez Macho, Manuscritos Hebreos y 
Arameos de la Bibiia (Rome, 1971), pp. 15-16. 
7 r It is thus found in a copy of Machzor Roma, written in Pesaro, 
1480; Sasoon, Ms. 23. See Ohel Dawid, pp. 289-93, plate 38; 
Solheby Catalogue No. 28, plates on pp. 92*95, Also used in 
Torah Ketuvim and Haftorou Sasoon Ms. 487, written in 
Seville, 1468, described in Ohel Dawid, pp. 15-16; Sotheby Cat- 
alogue No, 7 T plate* on p, 19. Also in Machzor Roma, written 
in Perugia, 1415, 5asoon T Ms. 405, described in Ohel Dawid, pp. 
276-2S9 T plate 36; Sotheby Catalogue No, 27, plate on p. 39, 
Also in Seder Tefilot, written in Spain, early 15th century, 
Sasoon, Ms. 59, described in Ohel Dawid, pp. 298-299; Sotheby 
Catalogue No, 25, pp, 84-85, This device was apparently also 
used by Saadia Gaon in his commentary on Sefer Yelzirah, p, 
28. 

8. Tikuney Zohar 5 (20b), Gra (22a), Nilzutzey Zohar (35) b ad loc. 
Also see Tikuney Zohar 19 (39b). Beer Yitzchak (54), Nilzutzey 
Zohar (24), adloc. 

9. Tikuney Zohar 5 (20b), 19 {39b) t 70 (128b), R. Yisrael of 
Koznitz, Or YisraeL ad foe. 

10. Gra, adloc. 

11. Bahir U5. 

12. Etz Chaim, Shaar TaNTA 5, p. 70. This is said to be related to 
the Hevei DiGarmi in man. 

1 1 Tikuney Zohar 70 ( 1 28b), Kisey Metekh, ad toe. (i 73b, No, 30). 
Cf Kisey Melek 5Sa. Also see Otzar Chaim 6a^ 

14, Yitzchak Sagi Nahor y line 3 1 3, cites both opinions. See Peiiyah 
39a. 

1 5, Cf. Skhot HaRan 77. 

16, Bava Batra 25b, Zohar l:26b t Shulchan Arukfi. Orach Chaim 
94:2 in Hagah. Seed is to the East, see Bahir 156. 

1 7, Gra, Pri Yitzchak ad toe. 

1& Tikuney Zohar 1 8 (32a). Also see Kuzari 4:25 (53a) T 3:17 (24a), 
Ibn Ezra on Ecclesiastes 11:2. 

19. See Bahir 70, Or HaGanttz on Bahir 154; Recanti lc t Chayit 
179b, 

20. Bahir HI. 

21. Tiferet Yisrael 2. 

22. Ratfak on Zechariah 4:2, Ginat Egoz 38c. 

23. See commentaries ad loc. r Ibn Ezra on Zechariah 4:10, 

24. See Ibn Ezra., ad ioc. 

25. Cf. Etz Chaim. Shaar TaNTA 7. 

26. Gra, ad ioc, 
11. Bahir 70, 177, 



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370 SEFEK VETZIRAH 

28, Shabbat)S6a, 

29, See inset. 

30. These are described in detail in Erven HaShoham and Sheirit 
Yosef. Also see Israel Regard ic, How to Make and Use Talismans 
(Wellingborough UK: Aquarian Press, 1972), 

31. Moscow, Ms, Guenzbuig 775 t unnumberd folios at beginning 
32a-33b (pp. 62-64 in my manuscript). These are attributed to 
Nohaniel Gaon, but no record of" such a gaon exists. Also see 
Toidot Adam 158 + where these seals are drawn and attributed to 
the Ramban. They axe also found in Shoshan Yes&d Olam> pp. 
268, 322, 460. 

3Z Chagigah 14a. See Moreh Nevuehim 2:6. 

33. See Bachya, Abarbanel, on E>euteronomy 18:14, Derekh 
HaShem 2:7. Also see Sotah 12b, Tosefot. Shabbat l56a T 
Ikkarim 4:4. Many writers assume that Mai man ides did not 
believe in astrology at all, based on what he writes in Yad, 
Avodat Kokhavim 11:16 and in Moreh Nevuchim 3:37. Else- 
where, however, he appears to admit that T at least to some 
degree, it can be used to predict the future, see Yad, Yesodey 
HaTorah 10:3, Sefer HaAfitzvot, Positive Commandment 31. 
Also see HaKotev on Eyin Yaakov. Shabbat 156a; Bereshit 
Rabbah 85:2 t Rashi, Sotah 36b. 

34. Bereshit Rabbah l(fc6 t Zohar 1:34a, 1:25 la, 2: 1 5a, 2:1 5b t T 
30b, 2:80b, 2" 1 7 i b T 3:86a. 

35. Akedat Yitzchak 2 + Or HaShem 4:3 (&7a). See Shaar Rashbi on 
Perek Shirah (p. 299). 

36. See note 32, Also see Bereshit Rabbah 7&: I. 

37 T Bereshit Rabbah 1:3, 3:8, Sh'mot Rabbah 15:22. Tanchuma, 
Chayay Sarah 3, Midrash Tehiilim 24, 86, 104, Pirkey Rabbi 
Etiezer 4, Cf. Barccloni, p. 1 87, 

38. Bahir 2h See Radal on Pirkey Rabbi Ehezer 4:1, from Zohar 
l:L7b, 1:18b, 1:34a, L:46b, Also see K^dal ibid, 4:11. Bachya on 
Genesis 28: 12 reverses this, and states that permanent angel* 
were created on the second day, and temporary angels on the 
fifth, 

39. Shabbat 156a. 

40. Siddah 16b, 

41. See chapter I, note 155. 

42 + Abarbanel on Deuteronomy J S; 1 4. Also sec anonymous Perush 
on Yad. Yesodey HaTorah 2:5. 

43. Zohar 3:269b. 

44. Bereshit Rabbah 78:4, Yafah Toar ad foe., Sh'mot Rabbah 48:2, 
BaMidbar Rabbah 1 1:7, Tanchuma, VaYakhel 4* Sifri on Num- 
bers 6:26, 



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45. Baraita DeShmuel MaKatan 9, Bareita DiMazaiot 1 5; Raziel 
17b (51 ) t £e>r HaKanah (Cracow, 1894), 86b T Yaikut Reuveni 
15a. 

46. /Vflfa? ^d^' Eiiezer 6, 7; Rashi, Berakhat 59b "SAaAna/^ " 
Shabbat 1 29b T £ruWn 56a; Chakamoni 70c + 72b h flan^a 
DeShmuel HaKatan 3 T Bareita DiMazaiot 7, Barceloni, p. 247. 

47. Kr4 rfesmfcy HaTorah 3:J T flaiv/ta DeShmuel HaKatan 7, 
Bareita DiMazaiot 12, Barceloni, /ot cjf. 

48. See Ibn Ezra on Exodus 16:1, R. Shmuel Falkalish, Seder 
Avronot (Prague, 1797), introduction, quo led in Batey 
Midrashot 2:10; Hadrey Kodesh (Dibernfurth, 1812), p. 5b + Cf 
Chakamoni 70c, 72b + R, Eiiezer of Wonnes, 

49. A similar concept is found in Shabbat 1 29b, 

50. Sanhedrin 65b, Yad t Avodat Kokhavim U:8, Tur. Yoreh Deah 
179. 

51. Cf, Tshuvot Rashba 148, 409, Tshuvot Rashba MaMeYucheset 
LeRamban 28 X Tshuvot Mahari Assad 2:24, Tshuvot Avney 
Tzedek Yoreh Deah 44. Also see Yoreh Deah 179:2, Simukey 
Ypse/on Sanhedrin (Rif, 1 6b), Sefer Chasidim 59, Zohar 1 : 1 69b, 
3:234a. 

52. Tikuney Zohar 70 ( L28b) t Kiseh Melekh, ad ioc. (58a, No. IS). 
Also sec Gra here. For a different ordering of Sefirot and days, 
see Maarekhet Efohui 183a. 

53. See Pardes Rimonint I0 b 32:2. 

54. Raavad, ad ioc. See Shaar Ruach HaKodesK pp, 86, 145. 

55. Shaar Ruach HaKodesh, p. 31, from Tikuney Zohar 70 (129b), 
Sitrey Torah Y Zohar 1:108a, 

56. Gra, ad ioc. Zohar 1 : 4 1 b-4 5b, 2:245a~2 59a, Pardes Rimonim 24 . 

57. Rosh MaShanah 31a T Sanhedrin 97a, Avodah Zarah 9a. This 
appears to be the opinion of Firkey Rabbi Eiiezer, see Radal, ad 
toe, IS: 48. Also see Maarekhet Eiohut 189a. Raziel 1 5a (43). 

58. Tamid 7:4. 

59. Sefer Temunah (Koietz, 1784), 31a, Maarekhet Ehhut 1 90a, 
Sefer HaKanah 78b and other places, Tshuvot Rashba 423, Shiur 
Komah 83. Radbaz, Magen David, Gimel, DaJet; Metzudot 
David 298, R. Yosef Tzayach, Tzaror HaChaim. pp. 83b, 85b; 
Shaarey Gan Eden, Orach Tzadikim 1:1. Cf Bachya. Recants 
Tzioni T on Leviticus 25:B t Ramban on Genesis 2:3 T Sefer 
HaChinuch 330, Ibn Ezra on Genesis 1:5, 8:22. For a detailed 
discussion, see Brush Or HaChaim 3 T at end of Tiferet Yismet 
on Mishnayot Nezikin. This is also apparently supported by the 
Zohar, see Radal, ioc, at. This doctrine was opposed by the Ari t 
see Likutey Torah (Ari) Kedoshim, VeYakhel Moshe 3a. 

60. OtzarChaim 86b Jf. 



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ytl SEFER YETZIRAH 

61. Bereshit Kabbah *:2, Zohar 2: 145 b. Cf Sanhedrin 97a. 

62. See Drvsh Or HaChaim. ioc. rit. 

63. Bereshit Rabbah 1:19, 12: 10, Rashi on Genesis 1:14, 1:24, 2:4, 
Moreh Nevuchim 2:30 t Ram ban on Genesis 1:1, 1 :8, 1 :24; Shnei 
Luchot HaBrit 1:190b In note. 

64. Bereshit Rabbah 1:1 2 r Yad r Tshuvah 3:7, Raavad. adiot\ Emunot 
VeDeyoi 1:1, 5:8, tfuzan 1:67 (41 a). 

65. Moreh Nevuchim 2:28. Cf. Zohar 1:138b, ^WaA Zarah 54b, 
Berakhot 60a. 

66. Rashi, Ibn Ezra, Sforno, dd loc.< Rambam, Jggeret Techiyat 
HaMetim (Warsaw, 1927), p. IS. Regarding conservation of 
matter, see Emunot VeDeyot 7: 1 . 

67. Chagigah 13b, from Job 22:16, Psalms 105:8, Tosefoi ad toe. 
"Tordan." Maharsha, ad foe. Also see Bereshit Rabbah 28:4, 
Koheiet Rabbah 1:37, 4:4, Tanchuma, Lekh Lekha \ 1, Yitro 9, 
Midrash Tehiltim 105:3, Tanna DeBei Eliahu Rabbah 13 (70a, 
72a), 26 (103a), Tanna DeBei Eliahu Zuta 10 (1 5a), Sefer Chasi- 
dim 1 1 37, 

68. Cf. Berakhot 6 La, Bereshit Rabbah 1 4:3, 4. 1 0, Ramban on Gen- 
esis 1:20. 

69. Moreh 3:50, Kuiari 1:43 (32a); Pesikta 105b, Rosh HaShanah 
1 0b, Yerushaimi, Avodah Zarah L:2 (3a), raTO™ Rabbah 29:1, 
Pirtev rtaWw E/j>2?r 8 (1 8a); Ran, Rosh HaShanah (Rif 3a) 
"BeRosk" Tosefot Yom To\> Rosh HaShanah 1:2 "BeRosh." 
Rokeach 200, Also see Rashi, Sanhedrin 97a M BeAtafim, " Kzrf, 
ttrfrfuri HaChodesh 1 1:16; ^wJaA 2a™ A 8a. 

70. Chagigah 12b, ZoAar 3:236a. 

7 L . ^fz Chaim> Shaar Drushey AB YA 4, 1 2, Stewir 7z i>wr Ohmot 2 . 

72. tottJtra rtaWw* 29:11, /Vrtey /?*&/>< Hi>z<t IS (43a), 
BaMidbar Rabbah 3:£, C/ /te2iW 15b (43), 36a (122). 

73. Of -or HaShem. ad Ivc^ Avot Rabbi Nathan 37, 

74. Ibn Ezra on Genesis 1:2. 

75. Bava Batra 25b. 

76. Bava Batra 74b, Cf Yerushaimi. Ketubot 12:3, Keiayim 9:3, 

77. Gra, Ifrifr On ad toe. Cf Zohar Chadash 78b, 83b, Zohar l;52a 

78. Bekhorot 55a. 

79. Gra. <T/ Radal on Pirkey Rabbi Eliezer 1 8:47, See Midrash 
Tanayim 92b. 

80. Gra, ad ioc. In its entire history, Israel celebrated seventeen 
jubilees, see Arkhin 1 2b, Yad r Shemitah VeYovet 10:3. 

81. See Bereshit Rabbah L2:6, 26:2, BaMidbar Rabbah 13:12. 
Tanchuma. Bereshit 6, Ramban, Maamar HaGeulah (in KJtvey 
Ramban). p, 269, Rambam, commentary on Sanhedrin L0:l, 
fggeret Techiyat HaMetim, p. 1 1 . C£ Ketubot 39a. 



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Voles 373 

52. Otzar HaChaim 87a, 

53. Ibid. 87b, 

84. Otzar Eden HaGamtz 75 b. 

S5h Raavad, Pri Yiuchak. ad lac. 

86, Sec Sutam HaAiiyah. 

87, /&<* 

&& flash HaShanah 27a, regarding the fact that .SAd/nor and ZacAor 

were said "with one word." Cf Yad, Yesodey HaTorah 2; LO. 
&9. Otzar Eden HaGanuz 75b. 

90. Bemkhot 32b, The calculation there yield* 1. 16434 x 10'*. A 
variant reading yields 10 21 . See Raiiei 18a (54). 

91. See notes 43, 44. 



Chapter Five 



1 k Saadia, p. 58, thus says that they include the five senses. See 
Donash, p. 54. ChakarrtQni, however, interprets it as 
swallowing. 

2. There arc various different orde rings in the Bible> In Jacob's 
blessing to the tribes in Genesis 29. the order is Reuben, Sim- 
eon, Levi, Judah, Zebulun, Isachar, Dan, Gad, Asher, NaftaLi, 
Joseph, Benjamin. In Genesis 46, the ordering is the same, but 
the sons of Leah's handmaid precede those of Rachel's. In 
Numbers 1:5*1 5, the order is the same as in Exodus 1, except 
that Joseph precedes Benjamin, and the order of the sons of the 
handmaids is Dan, Asher, Gad, NaftalL In Numbers 13:4-15, 
the order is Reuben. Simton. Judah, Isachar, Ephraim. Benja- 
min. Zebulun. Manassah, Dan. Ashcr, Naftali, Gad. In Num- 
bers 24:6-29, it is Judah, Simeon, Benjamin, Dan, Manassah, 
Ephraim , Zebulun, Isachar, Asher, NaftaLi, (Reuben and Gad 
are not included, since they remained on the other side of the 
Jordan.) Jn Moses' blessing, the order is; Reuben, Judah, Levi L 
Benjamin. Joseph, Zebulun, Isachar, Gad, Dan. Nafta! i. Asher. 
(Simeon is not mentioned, see Rashi on Deuteronomy 33:7.) In 
Deuteronomy 27:12-13, for the blessings the order is: Simeon, 
Levi, Judah, Isachar, Joseph, Benjamin; for the curses: Reuben, 
Gad, Asher, Zebulun, Dan, Naftali. 

3. Genesis 30, 35:23. 

4. Otzar Chaim 20 lb, Raavad 5a. 

5. Suva Bairn 1 Igb, from Genesis 48: 16. 

6. Sheirir Ybsef 1 2a. Tzioni 58c lists them in the order of Numbers 



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Afore 375 

27. Cf. Moreh Nevuchim 1:70, 

28. See chapter ] h note 4] . 

29. Tziorti. ad toe.. Bereshti Rabbah 6&9, Rashi on Avot 2:9. See 
chapter I , note 1 1 9. Cf Moreh Nevuchim. toe. cir. 

30. ShaareyOrah 10 (103a). 

31. Etz Chaim, Shaar Arikh Anpin 3, Also see Rashi, Radak, on 
Judges 20:43 Habakkuk J:4, Psalms 22:13; Radak, Sherashim. 
"KTR." 

32. Chulin S9a, Sh'mot Rabbah 3S:4. According to Rashi. it is then 
read, "from under, he is the arms of the universe.*' It therefore 
refers lo the person who lowers himself to be "under." 

33. Chagigah I 2b. See Raziet I4b<40), 1 5b (44), See chapter 6, note 30. 

34. See chapter I , note 1 43. 

35. Zohar 2:81a, 2:131a, 2:203a, 3:227a T Pardes Rimomm 25:7, 
Shaarey Orah 5 (50b). These confuse the mind, Zohar 3:123a, 
Tikuney Zohar lib, Reshit Chakhrnah. Shaar MaYirah 4 
(16c). 

36. The next verse, *And Israel dwelt safely alone {bodad}* the eye 
of Jacob," also has mystical connotations. The word badad is 
often used to indicate meditation, see Ibn Ezra on Isaiah 44:25. 
The verse can then read, "And Israel dwelt safely meditating." 

37. Cf Bachya on Genesis 49:26. 

38. The third is Habakkuk 3:6. This is a highly mystical chapter, 
discussed extensively in the Bahir 68-79, 147-14&, 1 87-193. The 
question may arise why the Long Version uses ** heights of the 
universe," which is only in the blessing of Joseph, instead of 
"arms of the universe,* which applies to all Israel. But if Joseph 
ben Uzjel was the author of the Long Version, he may have 
done this to allude to his name. 

39. Zohar 1:50a, I:274b t 2;22a, Cf Rosh HaShanah 1 la, Sifri on 
Deuteronomy 33:15. The An, however, states that the Twelve 
Boundaries are in Tiferet, see Etz Chaim. Shaar TaNTA 7. 

40. Rashi, Shabbat 36a, "Hemsess, " renders it Cemipetlio. Cf Otzar 
HaSham here. Also see VaYikra Rabbah 3:4, Shtdchan Arukh. 
Yoreh Deah 4g; I in Hagah. 

41. Saadia, p T 135, Chakamoni, Donash, R + Eliezer of Wormes, 
Tzioni 4d 4 Arukh, Masass. Cf. Rashi on Ecclesiastes 12;4 T 

42. Kohelet Rabbah 7:19, 12:3, Midrash Tehiilim 103:1, Rashi, 
Shabbai 152a T Berakhot 61b. 

43. R. Aaron of Bagdad, quoted in BotriL Cf Ibn Ezra on Ecclesias- 
tes 1 2:4. 

44. Zevachim 65a (bottom), Torah Temimah on Ecclesiastes 12:3* 

45. Berakhot 6 lb, Shaabat 152a. Rashi identifies it with the 
HemsesSr Also see Avot Rabbi Nathan 3l:3 h Otiot DeRabbi 



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3W SEFER YETZIRAH 

Akiba, Lamed; Rashi on Ecclesiasies 12:4, Derishah, Yoreh Deah 
75. Tikuney Zohar 70 ( 1 40b). 

46. Zohar 2:234b T 2:235a T Raavad 4Sa T Pardes Rimanim 23; 19 
"Korkeban, " 

47, CHakamonL R. Elieztr of Wormes 10a, 15 b, Saadia B, 
Barceloni, p. 256 T Tzioni 4d. 

48. Saadia, p. 135, says that it is the Tzam. In Sheveitey EmunaJt 4 
(Warsaw, 1887), p. 42b, we find that the Tzam is the portion of 
the small intestine that follows the duodenum. 

49, Donash, Otzar HaShem, 

50, Barcelona p, 257, Sheveifey Emunah. toe at. See Sefer HaKahan 
14 lb, 

51, See Otzar HaShem, ad ioc r . Yoreh Deah 48; I in ffagah, 

52. Otzar ffashem. 

53, Chakamom. Donash, Elieier Rokeach 10a, 

54. Saadia, p. 135^ 

55. Aforeh Sevuchim 3:38, Ramban, Bachya> on Deuteronomy 1 8:3; 
Radbaz, Metzudos David 11 I . 

56. Berakhot 6lb T Zohar 2:234b t Tikuney Zohar 70 <140b), Parties 
Rimonim 23:19. 

57, Otiot DeRabbt Akiba, Lamed. 
SB, See Judges 4:19. 

59. Yoma 18a. When a person sleeps, his soul warms his body T 
Bereshit Kabbah 14: LI. 

60. Berakhot 6 Lb. Adar parallels laughter, and hence Purim is a 
lime of joy and clowning, 

61. Avodah Zarah 43a, Yad, Avodat Kochavim 3:11. The stars are 
said to have had the precise shapes of the signs of the Zodiac 
in the time of the Rood (Bachya 6a). 

62. Cf, Yad, Avodat Kochavim 1:1 Brit Menuchah, beginning. See 
especially Midrash Tanaim, p. 62, qouted in Torah Shfemah on 
Genesis 8:22, No. 108. 

63. Cf. Tosefoi. Avodah Zarah 43a, "Lo Taasun/ Tshuvot Rashba 
167, 525 t Tshuvot Mabit 2:30, Stfsey Cohen (Shach)> Yoreh Deah 
141:30. 

64 . The tables are found in the Almagest (Great Books, Chicago), 
p. 234 ff. A Hebrew translation of these tables may be found in 
Afishpatey HaMazafol* Sasoon, M$. 823 + pp. L 1 S- L 38 h described 
in Afagen Dawid, pp. 1041-1043, plate 32; Sotheby Catalogue 
No. 15, plates on pp. 40 T 53: Moritz Stein Schneider, Hebraische 
Ubersetzungen des Atiitelalrers (Berlin, 1893), pp. 614*616. This 
manuscript, written around 1350, contains pictures of many 
constellations, 

65. See Gra here^ 



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37* SEFER VETZIRAH 

3. Targum J., Rash bam , ad toe. Both opinions are found in Ibn 
Ezra, ad ioc.. Radak, Sherashim, 

4. Ginat Egoz 32b, Fardes Rimonim 21:S T Choker U'Mekubal 13. 
Cf. Zohar L;1 25a, Or HaChamak Derekh Emeu ad ioc. This is 
also identified with the Pole Serpent (Nuchas ft Bare&cH), Cf. 
Yesod Olam (Berlin, 1848), p. 1 6<\ Also see Bareita DeShmuei 
HaKatan 2 (3a). 

5. This is possibly based on verse, "He hangs (jaiah) the earth on 
nothingness {behmahf (Job 26:7). Others say thai it comes 
from the word Tanitt, meaning dragon, with the nun replaced 
by a lamed, Koi Yehudah on Kuzari 4:25 (54b). Another possi- 
bility presented there is thai it is derived from the word, "lo 
spread.™ Thus, the Targum on Isaiah 44:25 translates, "He 
spread the heaven,™ as Tatit Shamaya. See Or HaGanuz on 
Bahir 95. 

6. Chakamoni, Bareita DeShmuet HaKatan, Raziet 20a (63, 64), 
Ibn Ezra, Radak, on Isaiah 27:1, Pirkey Rabbi Etiezer 9 (23a). 
Also see Ibn Ezra T Ramban, on Job 26:l3 t Radak, Sherashim, 
"Nachash*" Ibn Janach, Sherashim, "Barach, H Mordecai, Avodah 
Zarah 3 (840), Or HaShekhei 4:1 (41a). The Leviathan is also 
mentioned in Psalms 74:14 n 104;26, Job 3:8, 40:25, 

7 r Seder Rabbah DeBereshit 1 7, in Batey Midrashot 1:28; Midrash 
Konen, "Fifth Day,™ in Arzey Levanon (Venice, 1601), p. 2b, Bet 
HaMidrash 2:26, Otzar Midrashim, p. 254b; Raziet 14b (40), 
Yalkut Reuveni 1 7b; Ibn Ezra, introduction to Torah, fourth 
method, R. Avraham Azulai t Chesed LeAvraham 2:3, In one 
ancient source, wt find that the "world rotates around the fin 
of the leviathan," Midrash Aseret HaDibrot 2, in Bet HaMidrash 
1:63, Otzar Midrashim, p. 450b. 

8, Raziet 18b (58); Rambam, Bertenoro, on Avodah Zarah 3:3; 
Mordecai. ioc. ciL t Radal on Pirkey Rabbi Eiiezer 9:31, Gra 
here. 

9. It is possibly for this reason that the commentaries slate that 
the Teli is in the sphere of ihe sun, see Chakamoni y R. ELiezar 
of Wormes. 

10. Ptolemy, Almagest 7, p. 235, This is also used in ancient 
Hebraic sources, see Mishpatey HaMazaiot, Sasoon, Ms. B23 n p. 
118, described above, chapter 5, note 64 r 

1 1 , Raziet 1 8b ( 58), Or HaChamah on Zohar 1 : i 25a. Cf Raziet 2 1 a 
(97). 

12 T Rambam, Mordecai : toe. cit.< Sifsey Cohen , Yoreh Deah 141:18, 

Turey Zahav 141:5. 
1 3. Otzar Chaim 6a. Also see Yenishalrrti. Shabbat 9: 1 (57b) t Avodah 

Zarah 3:6 (22a), Ramban on Shabbat 83b t "Zehr Ravan 1*8. 



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ftoiei 379 

Baal is mentioned in Numbers 22:41, Judges 2:13, I Kings 
16:31-32, 18:21, 26, Baal and Ashterah might be the male and 
female serpents, see notes 2 1 , 22. Also see Rashi on Isaiah 27: 1 , 
Sk'rnot Rabbak 3:12, Tanchuma. VaEreh 3. An allusion to the 
fact that the BaaL is the Teli may be found in I Kings J 8:26, in 
the word VaYaHaTeL^ which can be rearranged to read 
VeHaTeLY (and the Teli) + This serpent may also be identified 
with the serpent of Genesis. 

14. Saadia, p< 60, Barcelona p. 209, Donash, Otzar Eden HaGanuz 
55a, This is also most probably the opinion of Chakamoni^ R. 
Eliezar of Wormes. Also see Tzurat HaAretz 13 (Offenbach, 
1720), p. 1 75, ShtveUey Emunah 2 (1 9a>, YesodOlam 2:1 (16a), 
Sefer Techunah (Jerusalem, 1967), p. 59; Cheshban Mahatekhet 
HaKokhavim 69. 

15. Donash, p. 69. 

16. Kol Yehudah on Kuzari 4:25 (54a) T Tosefot Yom lbv on Avodah 
Zarah 3:3* Anonymous Perush on Yad, Kiddush HaChodesh 
J4:L 

1 7. Saadia T pp. 59, 60; Barcelcmi, p. 209; Rambam on Avodah Zarah 
3:3; Kuzari 4:25 (55a); Anonymous Pentsh, loc. ciL 

18. Otzar Eden HaGanuz 55a; Cf. Peliyah 30b, 

1 9. Or HaSekhei 4: 1 (41 a); Cf Sefer HaCheshek 1 0b. 

20. Bareita DeShm uel HaKatan 2 ; Sefer Techunah p pp, 1 1 - 1 04, Ibn 
Ezra on Exodus 3:15 (end); Job 28:3, 

21. Cf. Rashi, ad loc.: Bereshit Rabbah 7:4. 

22. Bava Baira 74b; Midrash Chaseroi VeYeserot (Batey Mjdrashim 
2:225), Zohar 2:34b; Maarekhet Eiohut 102b; Raziel 9b (22); 
Emek HaMelekh 103a; Radal on Pirkey Rabbi Eliezer 9:31. 
Others, however, state that the pole and coiled serpents are 
identical, since it is coiled around the pole. 

23. R. Chananel on Bava Batra 74b; Gra on Sifra DeTzeniuta 12a; 
Gra on Tikuney Zohar 49 (89b). 

24. Gra on Sifra Deleniuta. toe. at. 

25. Ralbag on J ob 2 6 : 1 3 ; Nexzutzey Grot on Zohar 1:125a, 

26. Raziel 12a (30), 15a (42), 2 la (63, 69), 22a (72), This river is 
mentioned in Daniel 7:10, 

27. Shoshan Yesod Olam, p. 220 (bottom). Also given is a method 
of inducing a dream through which communication with the 
Tell is established. Ibid. No, 558, p. 247. Cf Etz Chaim, Shaar 
KitzurABYA 8, p. 403. 

2S, Kuzari 4:25 (55a); Cf Etz Chaim> toe. tit. 

29. Otzar Eden HaGanuz 55a. 

30. Yervshaimi, Chagigah 2:1; see Bachya on Genesis 49:26; also 
see Raziel 14b (40); see note 7, 



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380 SEFER YETZLRAH 

31. See chapter 5, notes 33, 34. 

32. fltf/ur 106; see Ifeftitar Yaakov r "Teli'' 

33. Chagigah 14a, Ofazr HaKamd. ad toe, Cf. Shmot Rabbah 8:1 T 
3anw Z^pi Eiiahu Rabbah 30 ( 1 16a), Yad, Yesodey HaTorah 
1:9. Black hair is associated with youth, see Ecclesiastes U;1<X 
Also see Mekhiha on Exodus 20;2 T Kedushat Levi* Yiiro (Jerusa- 
lem, 1958), p. 133. 

34. Etz Chaim, Shaar Arikh Anpm 5;3. Cf Shaar FfaKavanot, p. 46. 
Also see Zohar 3: I 27b t 3:L32a. 

35. Eruvin 21b, Zohar 2:ll6a b 3:79b, 3:136b, 3:136a, Zohar 
Chadash 6a, A similar expression is found in Minachot 29b, 
with regard to Rabbi Akiba, 

36. VaYikra Rabbah 19; L, Midrash Shmuef 5. Cf. Shir HaShirim 
Rabbah on 5:11, Torah Tbmimah, ibid, 

31. Tanchuma, Bereshit I, Yerushalmi, Shekuiim 6:1 (25b), Shir 
HaShirim Rabbah. foe. til., Zohar 2:84a h 2:ll4a N 2:226b, 
3:132a, 3:l54b T Tikuney Zohar 56 <90n). See chapter I, notes 
242, 243. 

38. Malbim, ad loc.> Zohar 3:136a, 3: 1 40a. 

39. The word for hair here is Kevutzah, and ihis is the onty time in the 
Bible that this woid is used, besides Song of Sonp 5:2. The word 
is very closely related to Abrz, meaning a thorn, and also referring 
to the points and fine details (titles) in the Hebrew betters. 

40. Malbim, ioc. cii. t Tikuney Zohar 70 (122a). The thirteen hairs 
of this Beard are related to the twelve Diagonal Bound ants, see 
Eiemah Rabatai 3:4:3 (7 La). 

41. Berakhof 30a, from Song of Songs 4:4, See Zohar 2: 11 6a* 

42. Ramban, ad foe,. Pirkey Rabbi EUezar 35 (S2b). Cf Ibn Ezra on 
Psalms 76:3, Radak on 2 Samuel 24:16, Radbaz, Metzudot 
David 304; Kuzari 2:14 (17ab), Zohar 1:150b, 2:79a. Also see 
Midrash Tehifiim 91:7, Zohar 1:131a, 1:72a; Bereshit Rabbah 
G&5, Radak on Psalms 132:2. 

43. Pri Yitzchak on 6:3, 

44. Shabbat 15 lb, Bava Batra 16b, Taigum on Job 38:33. Cf. R. 
Aaron of Baghdad quoted in Both! here, Gra here. 

45. Pesachim 94b, Bava Batra 74a, Radak on Psalms 77; 19, 

46. See Likutey Moharan 5:3, 

47. Bahir 106, 

48. Ibid. 

49. Raziei LI a (27). 

50. See Malbim, ad toe. 

5 1 . Bereshit Rabbah 6£: 1 2 . 

52. Zohar 1:1 lb. Also see Moreh Nevuchim 2;30 T Rashi on Genesis 
1:2. Cf VaYikra Rabbah 18:3. 



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53. See note 37. 

54 T See chapter 5, note 39, 

55, Peliyah45d. 

56, Pri Yitzchak, ad ioc„ Pardes Rimonim 9:3. 

57, See Etz Chaim. Shaar TaNTA 5 t p. 7 1 ; Shaar HaPartzufim 4, p. 
I 15; Shaar Tikkun HaNukva 5, p. 160; Eiemah Rabatai 4:5:3 
(1 40c); Cf Zohar 2:20 La; Ti'frunfj* Zo/iar 30 (75a); see chapter 
1, note 28. 

58, See fTuzar; 4:25 (55b). 

59, Berakhpt 9:5 T 7ikky ZoAar 21 (49b} p Zohar l:155t>, £lz 
Cfia/w. Shaar Kitzur ABYA 4, p. 399; Ecclesiastes 10:2, Prov- 
erbs 18:2. Also see Kuzari, loc. cit. t Mafteach HaRayon 26a. 

60, Zohar 3:47b, Cf ChuUn 60b. 

61, Emurtot VeDeyot 1:4, end, introduction to 3, OrHaShtm 2:6:2, 
Sefer HaYashar I, flarctej /frmomm 2:6, Etz Chaim. Shaar 
HaKelaUim 1, Reshit Chakhmah, Shaar HaTshuvah I, Shnei 
Luchot HaBrxu Bet Yisraet (1:2 lb), Shorter Emunim 
(HaKadmon) 2: I 3, Z>*wta HaShem 1:2:1. Also see 2oAar 1 : lOp, 
1:230b, 2:L66b, Sefer HaBrit 2:1:3, 

61 Esther Rabbah 10:14, 

63. Afidmsh Tehdlim 31:7. See ZtertftA HaShem 1:2:1. 

64. Sfaur fomcrA 13:3 ( I0b) t DerdtA HaShem 2:6:4. 

65. Targum\ ad loc., Yentshalmi, Berakhot &:l (41b). 

66. A/<?rp/i Nevuchim 1:18. 

67. Zo/iar 2:42b, Emunot VeDeypt t end of 1, E^ Chaim, Shaar 
HaKelalim I. 

68. 5/uwr tfo/rco/i, /or. dr. 

69. Reshit Chakhmah, Introduction, Cf R. Yonah on Proverbs 
2:5. 

70. Shabbat3ib. 

71. Berakhot 6b. 

72. Ifort TCAuvaA 8:7; C/ Berakhot 4a. 

73. ^vo/ 4:J6 + 

74. Kiddvshm 39b k CAw/in 142a, 

75. AvotAM. 

76. Berakhot 17a. 

77. Yad. Tshuvah S:3 t Jdra* HaAdam, in ffifivp Rambart, p. 307. 

78. Ztaa/ Tevvnah (Tel Aviv, 1966), p. 9, 

79. Pardes Rimonim 2:G T Ste/a 7a/ T end of 2, E/z Oraim. Shaar 
Derushey ABYA 1 . 

80. Midrash, quoted in 5/rcar HaGamul p. 296. Also see Zohar 
2:166a, Likutey Moharan 275, Sfirttfr //aitart 134, 

Si. Bereshir Rabhah 1 2:5, Chagigah 12a. 

82, /frjrf,. Bereshit Kabbah 3:6, Rashi on Genesis 1:4. 



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JI2 SEFER VETZIRAH 

S3. VaYikra Kabbah 20: 7 t Zohar 1: 135a. 
84 T 5ffv<a fla?r<a 10a. 

85. Emunoi VeDeyoi 9:5 + Ibn Ezia on Psalms 16:11, VaYikra 
Rabbah 30:2. 

86. Berakhoi 34b, Satthedrirt 99a, Karf, TJ/wva/t 8:7, 

87. Avodat HaKodesh 2:18, S^pj twctof HaRrti, Bet Chakhmah 
(1 :22a), /Jmwrf HaAwdah 101b, AtefcA HaChaim 1:12, OAct 
Yisrael R'eh (on Deuteronomy 8:16). C£ ^vo/ 4:2, Nishmat 
Adam I (Pieterkov, 191 1), p, 1 6b, 

88. Cf. Barcelona p. 226, Get HaShemoi 90a, Otear E<te n HaGanuz 
16a T 17a, 



Appendix I: 
Other Versions 



1 . The order is thai of the planets on Sunday morning the same 
as in Shabbat 1 56a, Cfi Hagahot Bet Chadash (Bach) t ad Ioc. 

2. A paraphrase of Ecclesiastes 3:1, 

3. Paraphrase of Psalm 93:2. 

4. The word Yarok is usually translated as green, Rashi, however, 
identifies Yarok with the Biblical "blue wool" (Tekheiet)\ see 
Rashi ott Exodus 25:4, Numbers 15:33. Berakhot 9b "Tekhetet," 
Git iitt 3lb 'Sarbata" Also see Tosefot Succah 31b "HaYarok," 
Chulin 37b "Eleh^ Also see Rashi, Chagigah 1 2a "VaYashet." 
[n Raziel 1 2b (33), this is likened to the green line seen on the 
horizon, when one climbs the mast of a ship in the middle of 
the sea. This is also identified as being the same Khpah as the 
storm wind of Ezekiel, see Tikuney Zohar 37 (78a), Pardes 
Rimonim 25:7. 

5. The Hebrew here is MePhulatnim, Rashi interprets this as 
meaning moist (moisten), Chagigah 12a, Betza 24b, Zevachirti 
45a, Also see Raziet I lb (29) T R. Eliezer HaKalir, quoted in 
Both I on 1:11; Yad, Bet HaBechirah 1:14, KesefMishnah ad ioc. 
Since water represents the primeval matter (see chapter 1, nole 
205), this wetness denotes material existence, see R. Levi ben 
Shlomo of Lunil, quoted in Botril, toe. cit. Others say that the 
word indicates unknown, nameless stones, from Plow Aimoni 
(Ruth 4: 1, see Rashi T lbn Ezra, ad Ioc.}, Raavad, Otzar HaShem, 
on 1:11, R. Aaron of Baghdad, quoted in Botril, Ioc. cit.. Ralbag 
on Genesis \:2 (Venice, 1 547), p. 9c, Saadia Gaon slates that it 



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means "split rocks t " from MePttuiach, Saadia on 4:6, p, 123, 
On p. L24 h however he states that this denote* the bedrock 
of the earth. Another opinion is that these are ^ineffable 
rocks." with MePhulam coming from the word Batam, since 
Bet and Peh interchange, Botril, toe. ciu quoting R.Yaakovben 
Meirof Gyan in Tznif Afetuchah (see above 1:8), Others inter- 
pret them to be substanceless, ethereal rocks, with the root 
Patam coming from Belimah, father of R. Levi ben Shlomo 
of LuniU quoted in Botril, foe. cit. Others relate it to death, 
breaking Polmoi into two words, Pol Moi< ibid. The root 
Pafam is also related to the English Flume, see Arukh PLM. 
Also see Bertenoro, Rambam on Shabbat 22:6 (147a). These 
can also be seen as "stones of darkness/ since this expression 
in Job 28:3 is rendered by thetargum wAvanim MePhufamim. 
These stones are also related to the letters of the alphabet, as 
in Sefer Yetzirah 4; 16, see Tzioni 3c, Likutey Moharan 18:6. 
h. Chugigah 12a. Ion Ezra on Genesis \:2, Zohar 2:74b + 2:273b, 
3:27a. 3:279a t 3:305b. Tikuney Zohar, Introduction (lla) t 18 
(36&K 37 (78a), Zohar Chadash 32c t 55a, l00c + 110a, II 9a, 
Raziel I lb (29), 1 2b (33), 14a (39), Tshuvot Rama 6. 

7. See chapter 1, note 1 19, chapter 5 h note 29. 

8, Peace and evil are seen as opposites from Isaiah 45:7. 

9. See Chagigah I6a t Zohar 1:6a, 2:232a, Tikuney Zohar, Intro- 
duction <J2b>, 12 (64b), Ohev Ytsraei, VaErah (27a). 

10, Cf Chagigah 1 2a, 
IL Cf Ecclesiastes 4:8. 

12, Paraphrase of Zecharia 14:9. 

13, The Hebrew, MaNedet, here is obscure. 

14, Instead of J mot, mothers, Saadia uses Umot. This usually 
means "nations," Saadia, however, translates them as 
"principles." 

15, This is an ancient, obsolete way of spelling the letter Bet. Note 
its resemblence to Peh. 

16, The Hebrew here, MeChuthai, is obscure. See Ezekiel 16:4 N 
30:21. Job 3S:9. 

17, This was the original designation for the planet Mercury. 
Later, it was abbreviated as fCochav alone, see Shabbat 1 56a. 
This would appear to indicate that this text antedates the Tal- 
mud, Linguistically, this appears to be the most ancient 
version. 

18, In plural. It might denote both the large and small 
intestines- 



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3B4 SEFER YETZIRAH 



Appendix II: 
The Thirty-Two Paths 

J , R aa vad . I n t reduction ( 1 1 a), Parties Rimonim \ 2, Shoshan Sodot 
33b. 76a, Pefiyah 48a, Pri Yitzchak (Warsaw, 1884), Part 2, 
28a. 

2. See No. 13. 

3 r Paraphrase of 1 Chronicles 29: 11, 

4. Isaiah 25:1. 

5. The word is Me'Atzif, sharing the same root as Atzilut. 

6. Probably alluding to No. 3. 

7. This angel is Identified as Suriel or Suriah T see Berakhot 5la H 
Hekhahi Rahatai 1 6:4, Also see Tikuney Zohar 70 (127b, lop). 
Other sources identify this angel as Sandelphon, see Zohar 
2:260a, Zohar Chadash 3Sd, Cf. Kuzari 3:65. 

8. Greatness (GedulatO is the earlier name for the Sefirah of 
Chesedn based on the verse 1 Chronicles 29: 1 1 . The Ophan is 
an angel of Asiyah, See Parries Rimonim 1:7. 

9. This same idea is found in Sefer Hatyun {No. 7) quoted in 
Pardes Rimonim 1:7. Also see Pardes Rimonim 12:4, 23:8; 
Botril on 2:3. 

10. See No. I, 2. 

1 1. See chapter 2, note 7. 

1 2. Arafaley Tahor in Hebrew, The expression is found in the Musaf 
service for Rosh HaShanah at the beginning ofShofrot, relating 
to the revelation at Sinai. Also see Sefer Halyurt* in A. Jellinek, 
Oinzey Chakhmai HaKabaiiah, p. 1 1 T where it is identified with 
the Chashmal. 

1 3. Ejtodus 20:2 1 , Deuteronomy 4: 1 ] T 5- 1 9. C/ Psalms 18:10, 97:2, 
1 Kings 8:12, 

14. It is therefore a power that surrounds and holds. See Appendix 
E, note 16, 

15. Alluding to Psalm 91:1, See note 18. 

16. The verse speaks of the "shadow of Shaddai," the name asso- 
ciated with Yesod. Yesod is called Chai, which has a numeri- 
cal value of 18. This is therefore the 18th state of 
consciousness. 

17. See No. 3. 

1 S. Alluding to Psalm 91:1. See note 1 5. 



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Nan 383 



Appendix IV: 
Editions and Commentaries 

1. This edition is not mentioned in Otzer Sefarim or in Bet Eked 
Sefarim. It is only listed by Westeott, p. 10 T and Waite, p T 3, 

2. See Ne'edar BaKodesh in part 2, 

3 . N ot i n Otzar Sefarim or Bet Eked Sefarim, Mem ioned by Waite, 
p. 3. 

4. The same is true of this edition, 

5. Not in Otzar Sefarim or Bet Eked Sefarim. Mentioned by 
Goldschmidt. 

6. See Shem HaGedolim, Samekh 1: Meir Benayu t Toldot HaAri 
(Jerusalem, 1967), pp. 43, 72, 241. Regarding Benjamin HaLevi 
and his father ShmueL see Sinai 43:100 (1958). Much of this 
boot was taken from Chemdat HaYamim {Ismir, 1731). Also 
see Ne'edar BaKodesh {Ismir, 1 755), 

7. See Amsterdam (1713) edition of Sefer Yetzirah. 

8. See Etz Chaim, Introduction, pp. 1 9, 20* Shem HaGedofim. Alef 
1 1, A. Jellinek, Litteraturbfatt des Orients (OLB) 1851, p. 425, 
G. Scholem, Kirvat Sefer 4:286 (1928), Kitvey Yad liakahattah 
17:7 T p. 48. 

9. In Pardes Rimonim 12:2, the 32 Paths found in the Raavad are 
attributed to Yosef HaAmkh. Also see Otzar Sefarim, Peh 315; 
Shem HaGed&lim, Scholem, foe. dr. 

10. Especially in his setting up of the 231 Gates. See Otzar Eden 
HaGanuz 16b, 37a; chapter 2 ? note 43. 

11. Otzar Eden HaGanuz 16b, quoted in A, Jellinek, Bet HaSefer 
3:XLIL Also see Otzar Sefarim* Peh 316. 

12. R. Kirsheim, Litteraturbfatt des Orients (OLB) 1846, p. 666, 
quoted in Temirin, p, 10, note 8, Also see Ibn Ezra's Mazney 
Lashon HaKodesh (Offenbach, 1791), Introduction. 

13. A. Jellinek, Moses de Leon and sein Verhaltnis zum Sohar 
(1851), p. 46; G + Scholem, Kiryat Sefer 6:387 <1 930). However, 
where R. Yehudah Chayit quotes R. Azriel, this does not fit the 
printed Ramban. see Chayit 37b, 112b. See note 26. 

L 4. Donash is mentioned by Abraham Ibn Ezra in his commentary 
on Genesis 38:9. 

15. Revue des Etudes Juives <REJ) T Vol. 105, 107, 1 12, 1 13, I 19, 
121. Cf. Munk, **No{ic sur Aboul Watid,** Journal Asiatique, 
1850- A. Neubauer. Catalogue of Hebrew Manuscripts in the 



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316 SEFER YETZIR*H 

Bodleian Library No. 1118: Furst, Litteraiurbtatt des Orients 
(OLB) 1850, p. 897. 

16. It would be tempting to identify this with R, Eliezar of Wormes. 
However, in OtzarKden HaGartuz 16b, Abulafia writes thai the 
commentary of R. Yiizchak Bard ash i is unique in its treatment 
of the 23 1 Gates, EJiezar of Womies uses a similar system, and 
therefore, Abulafia could nol have seen his commentary. 

17. See A. Jell i nek, Beit rage zur Geschicbte der Kabbalah, Vol. 2. p. 
61; Yehudah Leib Dukes. Nachai Kadomim (Hanover. 1&53), 
p. 3, GoWschmidt, p, 39; Otzar Sefarim, Feb 317. This should 
be rejected for the reason given in note 16- 

18. See Introduction, note J 09. 

19. See Tasefat, Cbagigab 13a, ' VeRagley " from Pesikta 179a. Also 
see Rosh, Berakhot 5:2l + Maadney Yam Toy, ad toe. 

20. See S.D. Luzzatto, Litteraturbiait des Orients {OLB) 1847. p. 
343; David Castellu H commento di Shabbatbai Don nolo, p. 
iv. 

21. See A. Marx, HaTzofeh 5: 1 95, G. Scholem, Major Trendy p, 85. 
Also see Weinberg, in Jahrhuch der Juedisch-Literatisehen 
Gesellschaft 20:283. 

22. Otzar Sefarim, Feb 32% Mordecai Shmuel Girondu Toldot 
Gedoky Yisraef. Mem 77, Goldschniidt, p. 42. 

23. It is significant that in his commentary on 2:3, he uses 
Abutafia's system for the 231 Gates. 

24. See G. Scholem, KiTvcy Yad BaKabalfah 35, p, 93; M, 
Stein schneider, Catalogns Liborum Hebraeorum in Bibliotheea 
Bodteiana (Berlin. 1852-60), No, 1793; Toldol Gedotey Yisrael, 
Sietn 95 T Otzar Sefarim, Feb 330. Julius Fuerst, Bibliotbeca 
Judaica (Leipzig, 1848-63), Vol. 1, p, 187. 

25. For a lengthy discussion, see G. Scholem, Kiryat Sefer 6:385 
(1930). Cf. Oiayit 48a, 9 La. 

26. See note 13. Also see A, Jellinek, Beitrage zur Gescbiehte der 
Kabbalab l:9 + 2:49. Lineraturblati des Orients (OLB) 185L p. 
562, For a counter argument, see Chairu Dov CheveL Kitvey 
Ramban 2:452, Also see Fardes Rimonim 1:4 (end). 

27. See Catalogue Af&rzbacher (Munich, 1888) No. 104. 

28. Wunderbar, Liueraturblau des Orients {OLB} 1848, p. 737. 

29. Raziel was a pseudonym of Abulafia, which he uses in Sefer 
HaEdot, Munich, Ms. 285, published in Monet ssehrift for 
Geschtchte und Wissensehaft des Judentums {MGWJ} 36:558, 
and in Ha Kabbalah Shel Sefer HaTemxmah VeSbel Abraham 
Abulafia, p, 1 97, He notes that it has the same numerical value 
and number of letters as his name Abraham, see Or HaSekhel 
1\ 3 (92a), Chayay Oiam UaBah 7b. Raiiel 24a, b actually con- 



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\cies M7 

la ins a small portion from the beginning of Chayay Oiatn 
Ha Bah regarding the divine Names, It also makes use of the 
Gematria style reminiscent of Abu tafia. See Otzar Sefarim, Resh 
121. Also see Batey Midrashoi I: 1 1. 

30. Cf. Landauer, Liueraturblau des Orients {OLB) 1845. p. 214; 
G. Scholem, Kin-ey Yad BaKabbalah 1 7:S t p. 48. 

3L Entvin 56a> "VeAin, " 

32. There is another manuscript, Parma, di Rossi 399:2, which is 
also called TachakmonL This, however, is more of a commen- 
tary on the Bareita ofShmuet HaKatan, regarding the phases of 
the moon in 746. 

33. The introduction was published separately by A. Jellinek, 
Perush Naaseh Adam BeTzalmenu (Leipzig 1854) T reprinted in 
(iinzey Chakhmat HaKabhalah, Jerusalem, 1969, by A, Geiger T 
Paaleh HaPanim No. 2, Berlin, I860, and by Zusman 
Montener, in Kitvey Refuah, Jerusalem, 1949. 

34. Also see Otzar Sefarim ; Peh 325; S. Munk, "Notice sur About 
Walid/" Journal Asiatique 1850; David Castilli, li commento di 
Shabbathai Dontioh, p. W; M.H. Landauer, Litteraturblatt des 
Orients (OLB) 1845, p, 562 ff. Munich manuscript contains 
commentaries of Saadia, Yaakov ben Nissan, Shabbatai 
Donelo, and Yilzchak Y Israeli 

35. See A, Jellinek, Beitrtge zur Geschickte der Kabbalah 2:39, 
Otzar Sefarim. Peh 326. 

36. Otzar Sefarim. Peh 322. 

37. Otzar Sefarim, Peh 323. Also in Margoliut Tovah (Amsterdam, 
1722), Cf S. Munk, Notice sur R, Saadia, p. 16. 

38. Sec Gabrial Falk, introduction to Choiam Takhnii { Amsterdam, 
1865), p, 7. 

39. See note 10. 

40. In Likutey Shas 32b, there is also a comment on the first Mish- 
nah of Sefer Yetzirah. Also see Etz Chaim, Shaar TaNTA 5-7, 
Shaar Maamarey Rashbi, p. 299a. 

4L. Cf Litteraturbhtt des Orients (OLB) L844, p. 481; Otzar 
Sefanm, Peh 328, 

42. There are* however, early citations that do not appear to agree 
with this published commentary, see Chayit 19b, 1 98b; Otzar 
Chaim 1 7b. 

43. Sec Revue des Etudes Juives (REJ) 107:109 (1947). Also see 
Shlomo Yehudah Friend t Das Buck uber des Elements (Leipzig, 
J 884), 8:9, 

44. See G. Scholem. Kiryat Sefer 4:286-302 (1928), Also see M. 
Steinsneider, Catalogue Munchener Hebreischer Handschriften 
)\S:3. Cf Botrilon2:L, 2:6,6:1. 



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m SEFER YETZJRAH 

45. See note 9. 

46. Sec note 44. 

47. L. Zunz, Zur Geshkhter un Utterature, p. 250; Otzar Sefarim, 
Peh 324, 

4S, S« Otzar Sefarim, Yud 3*4 (published by Yisrad Davidson, 
Smicha Assaf, and Yisachar Joel, Jerusalem, 1941, 4" 30), 43 S 
pp, 

49. For shortcomings in this work, sec Revue des Etudes Juives 
(REJ) 29:310-316. 

50, According to Furci and Steinsneider, sec Goldschmidt, p. 36. 
5L See J,Ch. Wolf T Bihtioteca (1715), Vol, 1, p. 23, G. SchoJem, 

Bibiiographia Kabalistica (Berlin, 1933), "Pistorius, " Temirin, p r 
27, note 5S. See H. Graetz T Historv of the Jews (New York, 
L927) T Vol. 4 b p. 466, 



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INDEX 



L'jpt 'igfilod n::ilu \i! 



?« 



SEFEftYETZlRAH 



Balance scale analogy. 2:1. 46 
Beauty <Tiferc1). t:Mi 
Bmdicflon. I0.6fr 
Benigriiy <jffChe«d> 
Benyah (Brian!, l:4.4J 

? chambers of, 4:15, ISiS 
BL-poLarpeiwaiaLity. 4J&, LfiJ* 
Bmab I L nderstandmg j, 1^2. li 

«mstnouEnes5, };4. L4? 
Black and white fi*, &L21B 

Blo<*l 4 t. iijj 
Body, HHL liS, ill 
Bi»L. ihm [Septoiunl. hi 5 
Bran, right and [eft. k*, i& 
Breaking of Vcssck 3^ 141 
BretUpJlK HOnrt h Sil. IW 
Breath of Living Gad, L& ts9 
Brwh, fire *M w, LI*, 23 
Breathing, controELcd, 2t I , lilD 

arrcises. 2 :S>, LJ5D 
Burning glaaa, 1:12,77 

Calendar, mytwry of, niii 
Cm*pi ofPi^fW P*wn«, 5:10. 221 
Camp*. 28, of mckMi, MP, 233 
Cawe and effect, LL S7 
Celestial Treasuries, 4l4, 249 
Cbakhmah (Wisdom), hT 13 

«DStl6J«WS4 H iyL U3 

IXKlVIBUal, 1:11, ^fr 

ChaLakim { 1 S per nun. ), Si 10, 22? 
Chamber) in Beriyth (Tj, *li LSi 
t'hjruicl^r.g iuceiiancc, 4:4j IM 
Channels of emananon, 4^1 ± 23i 
Chanting (Incantation ). 2 :*. UU 
Chaos, first matter. Iji, 132 
CharfiOt (Mukwil, 1:6, «i Jii 207 
Charuy. 4^169 

Chashnai. 3:1. TO: 3:2. 143: ail. 24i 
Chtyth chi'i w«f mind. Ll*. £* 

Chiyah in Au il jL 1:14. 9Q 

Cnayei fHiyoth \ haQadcali, trL ill 

Chmyot, 4 living angels. ]_i8. 43 

Cheted ( Love. Mercy)- LI 23 

Chirik (vowel o, 2:3,1111 
ChoLam (pj, 2: J h 103 
Ciphers standard, fcJL LOG 

Circle {Oal(B]\ Jli 1£B 
Circumcision, 1:3, 31 
Coinon. ilL 1 98 
Colophon.*, *lL 

Colon, planets, septuiol. i'Al, [ S-J 
Combinations ( formula), 2i4. 123 
Communion with Sefirot, Li. 44 
Cone nutrition, m 
Consciousness CSekhel), 29" 
Consciousness, 2 ftuei 2: L 99 

kinds Of, LA Jfl 

stairs <Gf, I \ 



Consequences, 4:4, 250 
Consonants- as body, 4:1, lil 
ConSttlHHion* (zodiac), M, 209 
Coniemplflwdohjeoi, 1=4,33 
toramfflis. seven, 4j 15. I fi-ft- 
Contractictrtjn.itl, LIS 
Cordevtro vowel order, 1:3, ISH 
Covenants, tfjT, 25J 
Cranial MiNe*. p«h 32j J:U9 

opening mw, 4;6> 163 
Cfeali&n fBeriyfth), 1:4, i2 
Cmirton tf JTPfer/p, 1^13 
Cnsiiiuii. goal ol". 6[£ 24S 

pn)«»of. X 

«a»n. for, &i 2J7 

3«(md,tlSja5 

»qVetKf df, Jj J> UJ 

th«Hy or, hli 2E 

hvBKnmli, i: 15. 1 86 
Craliv* ertcrgy h *l2, 20fi 
Ctt*4 CTlv). liLft 
Ctowb(K*^. U-2J 
Cvb* f nwclvp siSM. *j2. 203 
Cup. King DbviJ'i, 3ji LL8 
Curative ok, 2:5. LU 
C>{k orcveati. 6r 1,23^ 

Dflirai:.2j4 J l09 
Cyclic pcnonalLty, 4^4, L6S 

Daal (DaUh) t knowlcd E e h \2>2},21 
prtiw-Srfrt^ 3:2, 140 
<Hiaai-S*firaK J A 44j 3ii 1 1 7 
Dagcsb and RjJen marks, 4: lj 1 j J 
Danger o/ experiment! fro el, l:it, 123 
DiyiOf Cituioi]. K^n, hi, IS 

Delinouon, dcflnilH^ Ul 3 
Deiualj. 111. im 

Depictive thought, I : S. b£ 
Dejwcssdoo. 4:6, 14j 
Dcnkh (public palh), liL lii 
Deseni. wen. 4:15. Itii 
DeammoAiliLaD 
DiigiMuJ symmetrv . LI LL5 
DitgOflalt (Tfee of Life). £i 105 
Dijgrnmj, value -of, 1:7, &J 
Diunetrial opposiKS, £^ 215 
Digiw, tffl, 1:1. 5 
DJnunaiani (hyperap*C*>. 1-3. JJ 

the Ispacej. 1:1. ] lj 

i*Wrto*y. llti S7 
Discipline, menial, 2:4, LJ4 
Disunity of 5efintf. 1:14, BS 
Divine lnspinUtKi. 1:4. 7J 

intervention, till, 7A 

m>SleT>-, x 

pnesewe. 2* ttmps. 5: 10, 22i 

Nam»,L7 J 6i2iia3 

Names and .Sefiien, 6^4 2i4 

perception oF, 6:4. 2*^ 



Index 



393 



Pranoc n fc4.;24$ 

Wisdom revealed, fcL 213 
Dogmatic presentation. Hi 
Dominance and Subjugation, 4lL 1*2 
Danish, 249 

phonetic order, Jii 104 
Double letters, five, LI UB 

seven, 1:2.3U4:L 1j59 
Draco, 6:1,213 

Dragons. iJVile am) female. 6:1. 22fi 
Drugs, hallucinogenic, 2i6, 133 

Earth (ErEe), lit 1,74 

is a 4ch elemem. 1& J 46 
Earth*, seven, 4=13, 1*7 
East, ftcm* the. fcilJiD 
Ecliptic pole. 6: 1,211 

Eff«, 1:14.89 

Eg*, nullifying Che. Sl2j 207 

Ebyeh iEheieh i 1 will be. bib. 254 

El (All. M 254 

EL Sltaddai, Almighty. 1:1,17 

ELeciromagnedL- (bice. 3: J. 144 

ELoncxKals (diagonals), LL II 

three, L1AJJ 

twelve. 5^ 197 
Elements of alchemy, hi 3, EJ 

three alchemical, 2:1 r 9b 
ELohenu, Sill. 223 
Elohim (plural), iiL 12 
Elohdin Chaim (Lining God), UL LI 
Elohirri Ch*vim fa3i_ sp."), y*. 6S 
Emanation. (Attaint). 1:4,42 
Emanation*, 6: 1 , 131 
Emek hftMdekh vpweEs, 2^ ]&* 
Emesh as nunc of God. 3:2, 142 
Eme < ( Ameth), vwb, 1:7, 64 
Ejninying the nind, fell 24J 
End of olden km, yui 
EncmLrs.loallick.lt 1, 97 
Enemy iKtipab, evil), 5:2, 208 
Energy, creairve, 5A 20ft 
Energy, Mailer, Space, J:4 X 14* 
Edve lopmems of (tie soul, 1;14 ± B9 
Ephraim and Matrtsseh, fcl, 1 99 
Equilibrium of Sefiroi, lii 23 

■piritwl, l;fl.fi? 
Equinoxes, 6:1,234 
Eretr, I of j earths, 4e1& 1ST 
Errors, ranlity of, 1 A 127 
Ear, (Ajch, Fire), 3:4. IA1 
Ewlme lore and itoKt, xvii 
Essrncs and Pythagcrtans, Xvit 
Eternal hf*.<S:4, 249 
Eternity artdhyperiLnie, 1:5. 41 

o>riKrfflin»hi.l3 

time* space, 5i2IE 
Ether, Jil. » 
Evil, leaning 'from. 1 ; 1 , 12 



Exile. J; 14. leO 
ExpmcnUllJOit LL 10 
tstrapoLatjng knowledge. 1:4, 44 
F.ztkLel r s vision, 1 Ji, 5Z 

Factorial muberiUEtct, 4: 1& 391 
Faith, accessibility, LA 49 
Fathers, &L 231 

three, 3:1, 143 
Fear (m Gevu rah ) 
Fire snd Rvelalidfi, fcl, 24 1 

blackand white, &L 238 

of darkness, 6:1, 24] 

tiiind step, fcl. 2*1 

vs. water, lili. II 
Firmaments, seven, 4: IS. 1*7 
Five double Lrners, £1 1 03 
Five Levels of soul, 1:14, 50 
Five phonetic families, 2:3. I n> 
Five root voweli, 2 J, 104 
Focus, lill 22 
Forte, unchanneied. 1; J . O 
Forces, elemental, Li 27 

physical, three, Sit N4 
Formation (Yeizirah), Jj4, 42 
Foundation (Yesod). ^2, 23 
FceewifL 1:7, feO 

and evil. 6q4. 2*6 
Fricative {hand) sounds, 4:1, 149 
Future a* feminine, 1:5, 44 

Galaxy T Teli as a*i» of, fi:1.2J6 

Cale»l (alt spelling, fi^L 239 

sphere. rvcle r 2:4. lOli 
-Gaonie period, uv 
Gaidcn analogy, 2:4. LfiS 
G84e*,2il orill, 1:4,113 

ho* eofiiptited, 3^4, UJS 
Gaviyak, 3:6, 142 
GeduUah (m Chesed) 
Getnatria (numeric value), 2; 2. JO I 
Gender of Sefiroi, L3, 34 
GenePLwiry. 4j4 US 
Gtvunb (Tower, Juwcel, I J, 23 
Gift from God, 6:4. 245 
GJkaulta vowel order. liL LJM 
Gilgul, cycling Lencrs, ZH, 1Q1 
Givitii v*. TtnHimi. t:!2, ?T 
Gizzard, 5j& 212 
Gnosriiismus, sxii 
God beyond our grasp, L4, 2$ 

ton«pNjalLzin£ Of". 5:2. 207 

indescribahle. 1:7, 65 

kDow]«l»e ot,6ji247 

names of. 1:1, J 

wirhnui Son or Brother, liT r 6-4 
Gold. banamutabM, 2^ 124 
Golden mean. Tiferel, lili £7 
Golem, 1:1. 22 
Good and bad, ^i li2 



394 



SEFERYETZ3RAH 



Good and evil, 1:5.44 

Clja iHliahiu. Garni), jcxv 

Gia and special dimension, 1:13, fl2 

Gia diagram of (r«. I:L 3.D 

Gra phonelic order, 2:3. life! 

Gra version . \i 

andTnbes.kL 199 
Grace, 4;4. IM; 4:U. 113 
GnKeand Mercv. LL IB 

and Ugline**. 4ii l£2 
Grammar,]! 

Gravitational rbrce, 3j4, Lie 
Greatness {iec Chew J ) 
Gutteral letters, 1:13, St 

»j|];n;inostenest!s,2:6. L33 
Hands used in puv-e:. 1:3, 33 
Harshness, 4:3, 1£2 
Hasidic meditation, i\ 
I lead, bclJy, chest, 6_ii Hli 6:2. 243 
Healing, Karobsuc. 2:5 : ill 
Health, 4:14. 1B3: 5:1. 198 
Heart, as baflle ground, 6:3. 245 

in Ihe souL 2:4, UM 

krag o*w ksuL 6:I. 2JQ 

mind, body, 1;L9 

verbal mind, 1:8. □? 
Heaven And Zer Anpifi, f : L 2*2 
Hekhal haKodesh, 4*4. IM 
Helhalot, :<s 

Hcmsess, 5^, 212 
Hesod fat Chaed) 

Hidden scri.>lli, svii 

Hissing (Shini. hi. 97 

Hc4 (Splendor, Glory). LL 23 

Hokhnub fare Chakhmah'l 

Holiness. 4:6. 169 

Holv of Holies. 4:15. 196 

HotvSmrit6:1.2Al 

Homdecic interpretation, 3:1, 139 

Hours, ofilw day, 5t IP, 223 

puHwrary, 4:14. 1AJ 
Houses Twelve, 5:1, 201 
Human. understanding, ft; 4 . 249 
Hum*noids and angel*, 6:1.237 
Humming (Mem). LL 92 
HiHkn[sheMsl. evil. 5^208 
Hypefojuadiams (32). JU5., 4ft 
Hyperspace, LL 1£ 
E iypersphere coordinates, 6: 1 . 241 
HypeletrahiL-dron. 6:5. 251 

IdoLatJous uses, nil 
Idolatry and Zodiac , 5:lB, 220 
Illumination from God, fi :4. 249 
Imugay, ingeli and ihroftt. 1:12. 1% 
ImajiftflTion vs. memory, fiji 244 
Inunah (mother, female], LL ' 3 
Immanence (Omnipresence L 2:6, 135 



Immutability. Irll, 76 
Imperative:, reading ui- * 
Incantations, * 

Inclination of ecliptic, fttL, 234 
Incompnenetuihdliry. ft: 1. 239 
Ineffable i-*K. 6:5, 253 
Ineffable SefiioL 1:4, 4Q 
Infinity being, Ain Sof. LL 7 
InfinitE-infinitesimal, 1:14. 33 
Inrini ry of extension. Lft, 53 
Influx Kuuseof, 29* 
lnformuion,2:2 k UKl 
Inhabiujiw of worlds. 1:12,79 
Initiation Of fi ir- e-iti ion. ft; J. 3 4 J 
Initiation, two stages of, 1:14, M 
Inner Hgbt, l:4 b 41 
Insight from vision, .1:6, S3 
Inspirational Sefirah, 5^2,207 
Imellect, 4jft, 169 
Intellect, level above, 2:6, 133 
Intelligence, itet Binah J 
Imerface between SUCH, 2^. 9& 
Isolation ftum sense*. 1:14, 9J 

Jacobs ladder, 1:7. ft2:6:l. 2U 

Jealousy, 4: 14, ISA 

Jehovah (ja? Tetragr&tttma»n) 

Joseph divided in two, 5:3, 199 

Joy.ilAllfl 

Judgment, harsh-fair, 2:1.37 

Judgments, five, 2:3, IP'S 

Ju5Ucre [see Grvurah) 

JHV parallel three mothers, LLL 3] 

Kabali5tie exercises, 2:3, lUi 

Kadoih iQadesh, Holy), l^L 13 
Kamerj(%flwelA),2J,]03 
ketei (Kether. Cnxmi). LL 21 
KryK to heaven and earth, 4:14, 130 
King over Ihc sou], 1:1.9 
Kings, three, 6:1, 242 
Kingship (Kfalkhut), 1:2,23 
Kiva, 5:6,214 

KJipah, Ke lipoth, qiiphot, 5:l x 2<ji 
Knots of love and union, ft/i 23 7 
Knowledge (Daatl, LL 22 
Koans.^jn, 1:14 ^ 
Kottaoaft.5:ft.212 

Labial lerterc, Lll 41 

Ladder, of tbe Setiml H liii 96 

transcendental. 6:1. 241 
Ladders, seven, ii Lnft 
Language. 4: 1£ \M 

7Ujpnmary.2t4, 122 
Latiii UaiuLalion, 336 
LatiTwie («itnui3t). fcL 242 
LaugEuer and spleen, 5 tl 0, 2 E S 
Lawsofnalun? fixed. 4:1-5. 196 
Lecher 4yi Lh9 



Index 



J95 



Leniency, 4: J h 162 

Letter combinations, 1:14. ""5 1 

permutations, ix 
Lena s, significance, 111. S 
Lev, 4:1, 242 
LcvkSA L99 
Leviathan {pole serpent), 6rl. 213 

Liability, fcLDi 

Liberal arts and sciences, 1:6. L32 

Lift and Death, 4:3, 142 

Li respans, future. 4rlS_ L 89 

Lighl and darkness, &4, 243 

negative, 1:14, M 

Infinite, (UteraL 6ji 243 
Lightning flash. L& 54 
Lingua^ 2li 103 
Linguistics^ \\ 

Longevity of man, 4: 1 5. 189 
Longing, bunting, 6:lj 24] 
Longitudinal angie, 6;1, 242 
Lord of Hosts, !iLl£ 
Lew (Cnesed), 1:2. 2 a 
Love. Judgment, Mercy, 3:2, 143 
Levin and strengths, \\S. 34. 
Loves, five. 3^1, ]M 
Lunar nodes and eel ipses. 6tl. 23b 
Lurii, wv 
Lw, 4Ui im 

Maaseh Met kava, xix 

Magic sujuarefi, system of, -L6_ L69 

Magic, white, ni 

Magical Kabbalah, s 

Mahwnides, 5;6, 214 

Majesty bee Hod; 

Maliikh (angel, messenger. J:1J. SO 

Malehi2edefc,Aiii 

MalkriuTfXJi*9h'P). LI 23 

Mana&Kh and Hphraim, 5^2, 199 

Manic-depressivaiKS, *i US 

Manifesrarions of God, M.7 

Mansions of the moon, 5:10. 223 

Mantras m the Kabalah, 1:8. hi 

MoHkzvB i L-hanul >, 5r2. 2fl7 

Mallei, energy, space. 3:4, It* 

Mayira. (Water), 3t4, JiB 

Mc, her, hinv ltl,9 

Mediation and contemplation. 1:1,21 

and Kabalah, uvi 

by writing. 2^2, L£Ll 

an a letter, 6:1, 239 
Medicaq\e manuaL. x 
Medicative Kabbalah, ix 
Melody *ndYesod,liilttS 
Mernbrum, 1:3. 34 
Memory, 4:6, 149 

as nan verbal , l:fi. 3$ 

vs. imaginwiMi, gj, 244 
Menctrah and Wealth. 4:4, 144 
MeniaUtaies. 1:11, 78 



Mercy, 1:12.28 

Mercy («# Cbcscd) 

Mercy and Grace, LL IS 

Merit, fcL 234 

Metaphysics, 135 

Microcosm, human body, M. J 50 

Microcosm, human as, J:J,S 

MitTopnosjpus [ZerAnpm^fcJ.23B 

Milk. 5:6, 2L4 

Milky Way. Teh as axis, (Vl> 234 

Mind (Animus*, J:14.90 

Mind, supemaJ, 2:6, L35 

two parts of, H, 9S 
Ministering angels seen, 1:12, 2$ 
Mnemonics for vdivels, 2^3j l£li 
Modulus anthmeti l, 5:10, 22 1 
Momentary vision, lr&\, 54 
Monotheism, xn 
Month, lunar (28 day s p. SjS, 2111 

sidereal. 5:10. 221 
Months and zodiac, SLL 1 97 
Moon (zodiacal movement), 5:10. 221 
Moon as closest planet, 4:14, Lfifl 
Moon's 2g camps, 5: 10, 221 
MoraL'SpiriT dimension, 1:5. Ad 
Mother lends primary, 1:1, Li 
Mother letters, three, &L- L59 
Mother, name of persons, 5:H. 221 
Mothers {AlefMem Shin). L2. 22 
Mothers paraUd IHV, Utt> 31 
Mothers [3j and columns, 2 J 1 , 95 
Mothers, Doubles, Etementals, iAj 1 
Movement, voluntary, Al3. 145 
Mysteries, hidden, 6: 1 L 23T 
Mystery of Moses (Zohar). 2:1, 99 

not logical, 3jl, L42 

not philosophy, x 
Mystical ecstasy, 6: 1 . 242 

experience. 1:6.52 

foresight, life, 135 

paths, wisdom. 1:), 5 

tradition, *iv 

uiuon h knots v &L2J^ 

Nachash Akakkalon, frL. 23i 
Naehash Barc'sch. fcL 213 
Mame.42-l«iEr.4:14. Lfe4 
secret, divine, i^. Lll 
Mames, of persona, 5:10, 220 
Names, of God, i:l,I 
Names, unci can, iiv 
Names, Divine, 2:1. 99 
Names, Divine, and Sefltoi, 6^6,234 
Natural array of Sefirot, li 2S 
Natural course of events* lill, ?4 
Natural events, alter, x 
Nefesh fsouL), liU, S9 
Nefesh in AsiyakM&IUiuk lili 90 
Negative light, 1:14, 92 
Nervous system, liL B 



J9o 



SCFERYETZIRAH 



N'eshamuh I cue u ma). I:l4 r 39 
Neshamah in BeiHyah, 1:14, 9ft 
Nwivtn (hidden path), kL li) 
Neoacn (Victory}, LI, 23 
KckUSh ascending/descending, 6:l k 235 
Non-verbs] thought. 1:J, L3 
Notation, me of, 3:4, 123 
Number i Sephar). J ; 1 , 5 
Numeran'ons, ten, i:l x S 
Numerical values, LL 32; 2:1, Ifll 
Nutareyikon vowel order, 2:3 , LQ4 

Obliquity of eclipcc. &h 234 

Oltai. 3iL U2 

Om (Awn, Omkare), JiL 23 

Omnipotence, 1:1, 17 

Qph*nim.1:12»79ifcL24] 

Opposites, diamerrical, fci 2*3 

Or Yaahar (Direcr Ligbil, L10, 7J 

Orifices, ft 5, lift 

Organs, of the body, 5:6. 2l2 

OriwY«Qd. i:2,27 

Paehad (w e (ievurahl 
Paired Sefirtt. ItO. &7 
Palatal letters. I; 13, Si 
PalHbls, Ij3. 103 
Pantheism. 2:6, 135 
Paradigm, covenant, li\ 34 
Paradox, 1:7, n> 
Paitnmm,3:2. 14] 1 5:2.202 
Passions, restraint of, Lfc £S 
Past and future as one, 1:7, £3 
Paths of wisdom,. ItI, 5 
FithaofWisdoiti (321,297 
Path*, seven vertical, 4:5, liu> 
Peace and Vfa> 4^ LfiZ 
Peliyoi (mystical), l^ U 
Perception (present time}, 6:3. 245 
FertVmon cremation, J; J, 1 d^ 
PeraiuE^tion, Tttragramrnslon, J: 2, 200 
Permutations, laWescf, ili, 191 
Pemutaiionsioppoii^ 2^4, 124 
Perwnificau'cn*, 3j2j L4J 
Phonetic families, five. 2 J, lii2 
Phonetic groups, five, hT, 64 
Phonetic values, 1:1. S 

Phonetics, ix 

Phonic groups 2i3 : 1(15 
Physical existence, l:7 b 62 
Physical reality, 2^ 132 
PUIvb. seven, 2^132 

Twelve, 5ji2ftn 
Picnic force, 3j± Ni 
PLtucbcy Chotam mnemonic, 1;J, H13 
Planets and their husis. h:l. :3s 

order of creadon, J: 14. I M? 

seven, liU, 9^4^ l&I 
Plosive (soft) sounds, 4rL L5S 
Plurality in creation, liL 5 



Polanly. 1:7,59 

Polarization of Sefirot. jj3, 33 
Pole serpent, nonh, &L, 213 
Polygons, fci 25J 
Poveny,4:HlEfl 

Pniyer, 1:9,70 
Premonition 5:10. 223 
Prime numbers, 2:4, 1 12 
Primeval aether, 1:12. IB 

tanner, 1:11.7$ 
Processes, five, 3:5, L44 
Procteac've (bra. l^L LB 
Pronimeialion errors, 2j5, 122 
Prapberic Sefirah, ijl, 207. 
Proio-SefiiOL 3:2, 1140 
Providence, Divine, 4:6, 170 
Proximity, spin h:il, 1:7, bl 
PsalteniutEU 5:6,212 
Psycholofiea] siaws. 3:5, L&£ 
Ptolemy, £ili 22D 
Purgatory. 3:5, 145 

Qualities, and lettere. I;l : 3 

creation pf, 4^, 163 

twelve. 5j2, 199 
Quantities and numbers, I; I , 5 

Radius of attitude, fcL 212 
Rahamin (iff TifereO 
Rimak phonic groups. 23, iL'i 
RindomnesE. 1 ; I. J 4 
RllicU:13.BI 

book ornate, a 
Rebirth into spiii mal , 6tX, 240 
Ret Hiti£ letters. 2; 2 r IC'2 
RrtOnciliatioo, 3:2. L42. 
Reclificatioo vs. Chaos, 3:3, |4J 
Redundnncy, 1^ 115 
Relativity, £4, U7 
Religious inclinaiioji. 4:6. 169 
Remainder and quotient, 5: U. 2 2 1 
Rest] as a double letter, 4[L, L60 
Reverence, fear r awe, &4, 24i 
Reverie, 1^4. 33 
Rewajd for goodness, 6J4, 246 
Rings, siO:2. N2 
RittBiujel, 335 

Rivw Di nor fMilky Weyl, feL 13J5 
Risers, icven (Holy Ur«0, tli LSS 
ftokeach vnnel order, 1:3, 1 04 
Rose of Mysteries, 2:1 , S3 
Ruach haKodesh, 1:9. 11 
Ruaoh in Yctzirah, L14,9Q 
Ruich EJcdiim. Iji. na 
Ruach (spirit. sOuL, air], 1:14. S9 

Sudia Caon (3d version i. Mtv 
Sabbath. 4j4> l£5 
Sabbwkal cycle, 4^13, 1*9 

5ahbaiica]s,4:l5, Ifii 



Intfa 



397 



Safed diagram of croc, 1:2. 28 

school, i*; kiv 
Safety frofli Klipah. £A 20S 
Saying \& of enewion, IA LOO 
Scholem, Gersbofn, xiui 
Sciences, seven, 2:6, 1 12 
Seal* Seven, 4jfi, InS 
Seas or oceans, seven, 4:1$, 1B8 
Seasons of die year, 3:5, 14B 
Seed and Desolation, 4:3, lfJ2 
Sefcrdie prttninCtMitm, 4iL L3S 
Sefcf Yenirah, method of, lit Lib 
SefiiOt MTinjemenH, JiL 32 

(Biblical rels.) r Jj2, U 

(digits*, ten, LL i 

eleven (Daai^Jii 117 

Pro*}-, £L L« 

Quasi. 2:4. HZ 
Sekhel 1 Consciousness), 297 
Self, negation of the, 5:2, 242 
Sensation, double, £ 1, 53 
Serises and anribules, S^L 1*7 
Senses. Five, 1:7. 61 
Sensory deprivation, li!4. 9_l 
Sephar (number}, l^L 14 
Sephanm ibouksl, 1^ 19 
Sepher (text), 1:1.5 
Sequence tiftujrnbej and lime, 1^ 20 
Scrafim (Powers), LU, 23 
Serpent, North Pole, folj 233 
Seven Pillw^lii 132 
Seven Planet^ Angels. 4:6. Infi 
Sevens, 4il£ LS5 
Severity for* Gevwib) 
Sexual organ, liL B 

restraint, ];8. 68 
Sexuality, 1:7. 134 
Shabbatai. 4114,181 
Sbera sustenance, 1:12. H 
Shem. mm 

Sheaftamri. 2; 1,99 

Shin (tooth, trNientl, 1:1. £ 

ShwektiiUA im 

Shva (6m vowel), 5:10, 223 

Skknes 1 4ll4jao 

Silent consonant*, 1:1.8 

Single (ttt Elements!) 

Sippur iCommunicauon). 1:L $ 

Sleep and Kivah, J:l0.2lB 

Sleep, induction of, 5j6, 214 

Snow versos water. 1 : 1 l, 26 

So norow verses, *i 

Saul, Animas 1:1 J, E9 

counterpart ofWy. 3;6. LSD 

must Terum, LJ, fcS 

J levels of, ill*, 3D 
Souls, world of, be 
Space £5 dimensions), LL 14 
Space, lime, spirit, 2bi L4J 
Spaejal dimension*, 1:13. 85 



Species, four, hiJ, £3 
Sphere, circle, cycle, 2:4, LOB 
Spherical coordinates, a":l. 242 
Spinal cord. llL 9 
Spirit iRiLBch. pneuma), 1: 14. M 
Spirit of God. l£,69 
Spirit, space r tune, 1:1. 20 
Spiritual danger, 224, 124 

energy. If 3. 3*5 

forces, i :?. 63 

shadow. 1:4.45 

universes, I:1Z. 80 

versus physical, 6:3. 244 

world, levels, 1:7.62 

world, origin, 1:12, IS 
Splendor (Hod*, 1:2. 23 
Stars and angels, J:fi, ] 20 
Static, mental, 2j6, 133 
Steiaing, Knuln 3jJ 
Still small voice, 2:1, S3 
Stomachs, four | ruminant), 5:6. 213 
Stormwiod and lightning, 5:2, 208 
Strata in the ten, «li 
Strength iGrvurabk 1:2. 23. 
Strengths, five, 2:3, \M 
Strife, 4114, LBD 
Substantunion omined, m' 
Supernal Mu (Adam Kadom), £& ISO 
Surrealism. 2 :L. 99 
Surrogate fotgoodrevil, 4:14, LSO 
Symbolism distracts. 1:8, 6? 
Symmetry, diagonal. 3:4, 1 15 
Synthetic, 1:13,82 

Taean. 3:7, 133 

Talpiot tangible link. 6;1. 139 
TaMe,£LI?? 

Tav. douWe letter, last, 1:2, 31 
TechniqueSn powerful, lii, 125 
TelrkLnehc power, x 
TcLrpufhic powers, xi 
TcLl links spiritual. 6:3. 244 
Temple, destruction of, 4; 1. l&l 
Temple, Second, xv 
Temura (tft Permuterion} 
Tetragnuronaion, i^ 6iidl 81:2*, LJ^LL 
I4fi 

EtndAdonoy.5lia223 

four lett ers, 1:1,9 

Jehovah, fro". 2i4 

VHVH,3:S, L2J 
Tecramorpb 0«** Cha>oi j 
Texc tSepherl, liL_5_ 
Therapy iiee- Healing) 
Thesis. u»[ill**i*. synthesis. LtlJ, 82 
Thought, nullification, 6^L 241 
"Three steps., 6:1, 241 
Three JMV. Air, Water, Fire, 4^5, 1 ft? 
Three Mothers and Fathers. 3:2. Lil 
Three Elemenult and Mothers, L;13. £1 



m 



SEFER.VETZIRAH 



Tiferet (beauty), L2J1J 
Titkuney Zohar. I^IO, 72; JlL ^6J 
TikuneyZi>har(ait. spelling). Lll, £1 
Tiltuney zohar vowels, 2:3, l'--4 
Time versus space, 6iJ, 2-44 
Time, 7 * 7000 yean, 4^15, 115 

cycled 2j±lJM 
Time* of Eoclesiasws, 5d£ 222 
Tooth < tri-denl). shin, J : 1. 8 
Torah, primeval, 6:1, 23* 
Traits, seven primary. 4rl4_ HI 
Tranjcendance of God, LJ, 5fl 
Transcendental influx, 297 

eighfos, i"4, lfii 

■dietnce. S:2, MS 

puhs.LLJl 

Transmitcaiimi, 2:$. LIS 
Transposition (Temurah), 4:1, Lfi2 
Tree, alternate patterna, 1^1, 32 
Tree of Knowledge, l^S, 4fi 
Tree ofLife (Autt Cluiml, l_i 141 

diagonals. 5:2. 205 

EiChjyiffl, 1:5,46 

PgQ i a i ffl i.?;U3P 

Triads, Itf* L43 

Triads qf Seftr Yexnrah. Lii B2 
Tribes of Israel, twelve. Ssl. 197 
Twelves, sevens, cast ofT, £10. 22 1 
TawE fjabaoth) Horn, fci 254 
Tzereh (e). 13. LIB 
T±umzum process LL L4 

Ugliness, 4jA E&2 

Unification of Sefirot, L7, fi2 
UnttyofGnd,L££9 
Universe, age, of the, i 15^ 1 S6 

pla« of the, 5:2^207 

soul. year. kL 19 

fpirinv],£l£.]«g 
Universes, seven, 4rlS. i£5 

or worlds C4). 1:4.41 
Unknowable Divine, fcl, 21£ 
Uranus, Nepnine, Pluto. 4: 14, 122 
Urim and Thumini, suns, 5:2, 199 
Una Minor, fi:L_2J2 

Vedic texts, xiv 

Verba] thought, liL 13 
Versiona of the Scfer Yefiarah. xxiv 
Victory (NeBtch), h2,23 
Vitibilny of aar, 2^135 
VisualiatioEi, 1=14. 91 

Of God, £3. 2C7 
Visual \zii\g nothingness. 1 : 1 4. &9 
Vocalization technique, 2:1, LOO 
Voice, breath, speech, t^, Id 
Vowel, points. 3:5, Lift 

sixth (5nva).& ID. 221 



vowels and days of week. 4:1.4, LM 
assoul.4:l.l&] 
five primary, 2: L 99 
five root. 2ll. IfiS 
Hebctw (ten), L2, 21 
missing in Hebrew, M4, SfJ 

Warfare of the body, j [] ft. 220 
Water (Mem). 1:1. B 

versus fire, 1:12. 77 
WeaJlh and Poverty, 4jl Lfi2 

Westcott, W. W., Hi 

Whirlwmd, L6, i5 

Wi I], Consciousness of, 293 

Volition, Riam, 111 13 
Wind. **«, fire- sound of, 6^ 241 
Wisdom (Cbtkbmih). 1:2, 21 

concealed, 6:1,238 

mid Folly, 4i L62 

12 pains of.Ll.lZ97 
Womb (Galgal), & 1,240 
World, an anjtichamber. ^4, 245 

Fuiiire <CHunHaBah|,&4. 243 

of speech (Yflaitih), 4:6. 169 
Worlds, four, 1:4, 42 
Writing, 4:14. ISC 

beginnings of, 1:11. 75 

Yabwhah ifcbwhah). *IS. 18? 
Y»h,6i2J4 
God of Israel, kL_5 
(he name I Yud He), hi, L5 
Yitweh {set Teu*(fanimauvn) 
Years, cyeLesof, 4;M. 184 
Yechidah andmmd, 1:14. B9 
Yethidah in Keter. 1:14.90 
Yemenite pronunciation, 4:1, 1 £3 
Yesod (Foundation}, 1:2, 21 
Yeuirah rFormfltiod), 1:4.42 

force* of. 1:4. 43 
Yiddish translation, 331 
Ynga. Kabbalah as, ix 
Yud He Vav, 1:11,81 
Yud, apex of, !£, 62 
Yud, simple point, 1^ U 
YHV parallel 1 toodm, 1 : 11, 1 i 
YHVH (MVR Jehovah), fcfc. 1*A 

Zen kouis, 1:14. S9 

La An pin (£aur Anpin), fl:l r 212 

Zodiac 1:14.92 

JJsipisof.SiLl^ 
Zohar, xx 
and Ari, sxv 
author of, svii 
diupam Of tree, 1:2, 2S 
of Moshe de Leon. Lfi, 52 
theoreticaL tx